My biggest life goal in 2014 (after graduating with an MBA degree o'course) was to watch the finale sequel of The Hobbit trilogy. Battle Of The Five Armies was set to hit the screens on December 14 and I waited all the way for the Great Grad Trip so Sara and I could watch it at Universal Orlando Cineplex. It was practically the best decision of the year because there is nothing like experiencing the magic of Peter Jackson on the big screen. Sara opted out of 3D because Azog practically scares the daylights out of her. I was fine with it.
Orlando was going through a mad heat wave that week and we had practically escaped having a heat stroke the day earlier at the parks. It was 82 degrees on December 29th when we decided to spend the day at the theater and kill the heat.
We did not sneak in food (no! we binge on Cineplex junk when we watch movies). Our pick was a personal deep pan cheese pizza, popcorn (o'course, movies are not allowed without popcorn), and cinnamon churros. Sara grabbed a gianormous soda too. With extra drizzles of butter on the popcorn (being extra careful not to overload and prevent leakage like a soiled diaper), we marched right to our allotted movie theater.
The theater was empty! Almost! And that's how we love it. There is nobody sitting around you. You can talk, take photos, and do all kinds of silly things that otherwise would disturb serious movie critics.
The sequel took off from where we left it. Smaug was raging at the dwarves and at Bilbo inside Erebor. everybody put together a wild fight dodging him and tried to bring him down by drowning him in molten gold. But this insane, arrogant majesty refused to go down. He got a jolt of realization that the people of Lake Town were responsible for this apprehension and they were aiding Thorin Oakenshield's reclaiming his kingdom. Whoa! Smaug flew out in all his malicious glory - breathing fire - towards Lake Town.
"What have we done?" - said Bilbo, as he stared after the menace they had set loose.
This was the scene where the prequel had ended. It was incorporated right back in for continuity. I could feel my heart race as Smaug flew, boasting in self-praise "I am death I am fire". The inhabitants of Lake Town were fleeing for their lives, the pompous rich politicians were hoarding their gold, and the Bard was preparing to fulfill the prophecy of killing the dragon. After all, he had the last special arrow that could pierce the dragon precisely at a point where his hide had torn away.
The Bard shooting the arrow has got to be one of the most emotionally loaded scenes of the movie. Smaug had destroyed the tower on which the massive bow for killing the dragon had been mounted aged ago by the Bard's ancestors. Then, Smaug struck again and the bow was destroyed as well. Helpless! The Bard decided to use his young son's shoulder to take aim. A moment of trust flickered between the father and son, and the Bard shot Smaug to his death!
The aftermath of Smaug's destruction was war. It came down upon the city of Erebor from all corners of Middle Earth. The men of Lake Town and the elves wanted their promised share from King Oakenshield. He; however, was being driven mad by gold lust and refused to keep his word.
Azog the Defiler was working for Saruman who needed control over Erebor and the Arkenstone (prized jewel of power of the dwarves) in order to make full comeback. There were legions of Orcs and Uruk Hai who came to fight all who made their way to Erebor and Erebor itself.
The movie had a lot of emotional conflicts playing out. Thorin Oakenshield's mind was plagued by greed and he concealed himself and his dwarf companions inside Erebor refusing to go to war with the obvious malicious armies of Azog, or coming to terms with the elves and men of Lake Town. Then came a time when he began to doubt his own brothers for hiding the Arkenstone. He confided in Bilbo who had actually hidden the stone from Thorin because of his lust for power.
There was a rift between the elf king Thranduil and his son Legolas. Legolas had an interest in Tauriel, the Woodland Elf Warrior who thought of the interests of all Middle Earth than just Elf-kind. She wanted Thranduil to provide his armies to aid good versus evil. Thranduil was self-absorbed. As Tauriel was expelled, Legolas walked out after her.
There's a love triangle in the movies. A chemistry sparks off between Kili, one of the dwarfs from Oakenshield's company, and Tauriel while the company was captive at Rivendell. As the dwarves escape, Tauriels fights for their safety against Orcs that attack their escape route.
I am not giving out any spoilers, so that's a wrap here.
How'd you like The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies? Leave me comments, I hit back!