Will 'The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies' Lack a "Mind Games" Scene? — VIDEO
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was hardly the prize that any of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies were. Many derided the 48 fps projection. Few found charms in the dinnertime melodies of an intrusive Dwarf collective. And nobody was all too impressed by the Rube-Goldbergian action sequence in the Goblin kingdom. But it wasn’t a total loss: the Gollum scene was terrific.
Stepping away from the fast-paced ballyhoo of the movie, Bilbo Baggins plummets into a dank cavern, batting intellects with the deranged riddler torn asunder by his greed and desire for the all-powerful ring you might be a trifle familiar with.
Then came The Desolation of Smaug, a much-improved romp that reveled in barrel races and the eagle eye of archer Elf Kate Austin. But topping the lot of Smaug facets was the titular dragon’s spotlight, a set piece that faced the visually impaired monster against a trembling Bilbo hoping desperately to outsmart him.
In both entries so far, the standout segments have not involved action, but brainpower and wordplay. As exciting as Desolation’s waterlogged chaos or Journey’s underground mousetrap may have been (in practice and theory respectively), they couldn’t best the soft, still material that most expertly elicited the winking genius of J.R.R. Tolkien.
So will we see that same sort of close-to-the-chest mind-games sequence in The Battle of the Five Armies?
From the looks of the first full trailer for the movie, we’re gearing up for a particularly action-packed third installment. This is hardly contradictory to reports that the threequel would include a 45-minute-long war scene as its conclusion.
I’m not decrying the notion of a tremendous Middle-earth battle (especially one that ropes in a quintet of armed forces). Jackson’s flare for the physical, as exhibited throughout his Rings trilogy, will do us far better than the similarly sized final act of Man of Steel did.
What is concerning — or perhaps, simply, disappointing — is the suggestion that there might be no room for a substantial scene of the ilk of Bilbo’s psychological face-off with Gollum or Smaug. More than just leavening the temperament of these movies, they provide our ostensible lead with his finest material.
Despite being called The Hobbit, the series is far more prominently about the Dwarf race — Thorin Oakenshield is the effective leader of the story and epicenter of the emotional drama. Bilbo is there, really, just to tack on a cute or fun factor to the adventure.
And his fun is at its peak when he’s matching wits with cannibalistic gremlins or savage fire-breathing beasts! So will we be robbed of such glory come time to watch the Tolkienian races take the battlefield at the tail end of The Battle of the Five Armies? Is it worth losing such fun and clever sequences if it means fostering what promises to be a breathtaking action epic?
Eh, as long as we get some time with the hot Dwarf, it’s all a win.
Images: Warner Bros. (2)