Look at Panel One. Castigan is metal as #$%&. Panel Four is a bit of homage to the time that my friends and I sometimes take planning strategy for an upcoming combat when we’re playing D&D. Fighting spellcasters scares the crap out of us, especially since we have a tendency to play…melee heavy parties. This one time, we got so scared that an NPC might be a spellcaster, we took her OUT in the first round of combat. Turns out, she was planted there to be an ally of the party. Oops.
So I went to see final Hobbit film tonight. (SPOILERS AHEAD!!! READ ON AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!) Man, what a stinker. The second film was by FAR the best of the trilogy, and even that wasn’t in the same weight class as the Lord of the Rings trilogy. No matter how hard you try, stretching a single novel, intended for children, over the course of three films, each one approaching three hours, is just plain bad filmmaking. SO LITTLE of this story revolved around Bilbo. His role was most prominent in the second film, and not coincidentally, that’s the best one. This movie was far more focused on supposedly sexy men, dwarves, and elves. Also, Legolas as Superman has been taken way too far. This time, it was all but watching a video game.
Worst of all, despite its best efforts, this film had no heart. I didn’t care one whit about the characters in this film. I felt nothing when Thorin and Fili and Kili died. I mean, I knew Boromir was gonna die in Fellowship of the Ring, but I still felt something when he went. It wasn’t about the lack of shock value, it was just that I wasn’t given a compelling reason to care. Worse yet, Tauriel survived. Her love story with Kili would have been much better served if they had died in each other’s defense. Legolas’ departure at the end would have made more sense, too.
For all that this was an endless action sequence, the film did a lot of telling me things instead of showing them to me. (If you end up seeing the movie, just wait until you hear about Legolas’ mom. This movie was SUCH a stinker.)
All of the above said, Dain Ironfoot is THE BEST. Every time you’ve ever thought about how bad-ass a dwarf fighter can be, this is what you were thinking of. Billy Connolly gives what is hands down the best performance in the film as Dain Ironfoot. (I really wanted him to play Mad-Eye Moody in the Harry Potter films, but Brendan Gleeson was suitably awesome in the role.) Of course, his character is also the only part of the movie that is unabashedly fun.
Oh, the dragon was cool too. But that was done with five minutes into the movie.