The release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies marks the end of an era for Gabby Hutchinson-Crouch. So Standard Issue’s given her one last chance to show her Peter Jackson love.
As the very funny @Liz_Buckley’s been tweeting for the last three Decembers, Peter Jackson’s made his film again.
People who feel Jackson’s Tolkien movies are same-y have a point – they’re essentially six very long episodes of one massive megafilm. And you know what, just typing that I’m thinking about the possibilities of a six-movie marathon, I truly am that sad.
This month sees the very last chapter of That Film, in which Dr Bilbo Watson is sent by Magneto to annoy The Sherlock Dragon with the help of his Dwarf friends Biffer, Boffer, Basher, The Hot One, The Slightly Less Hot One, Exposition Dwarf, Gimli Snr, Del Boy & Rodney, King Broody McBroodenshield & Wee Jimmy Nesbitt.
I’ll admit that I’ve not been quite as excitable over the Hobbit movies as I was over the first Lord of the Rings trilogy. But, to be fair, it would be difficult for me now to recreate the excitement I felt over the first films, making my first forays onto the internet and discovering a whole new world of fandom – finding forums, reading fic, viewing fanart and vids, reading porn (I liked Aragorn/Legolas best).
The LotR movies have been with me since my youth and the last film really does feel like the end of an epic journey. And, while it certainly isn’t perfect (it feels odd watching a film that puts a lot more effort into accurately portraying the diversity of fantasy races than it does of the actual real races of human beings), here are some of the things I love about That Film Peter Jackson Keeps Making.
It’s just. So. Pretty.
I went to the first film with some friends, not really expecting much, but by the time they’d got to that bit with the giant statues and the waterfall, I was in love with the lush visuals, mixed with the cartoonishly vast aspects of scale.
The Bits Where Peter Jackson Remembers His Roots
Jackson’s early films, Bad Taste and Braindead are silly, gory gross-out comedy horrors. If you haven’t seen them before and you’re happy to watch a zombie’s intestines trying to kill a man, or Jackson himself trying to save his friends as his brains are falling out, I recommend them. A lot of the fight scenes in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films retain that fun, over the top violence. The barrel escape scene in Desolation of Smaug, for example, is brilliantly daft, with one barrel roll that goes on and on and on, and a character who’s not even supposed to be there literally leaping in to shot, to pirouette on the top of the heads of the other characters. Which brings me to…
Tauriel, warrior elf
Yeah, I’m a Legolas Girl. He had me at ‘and my bow’. And come on – imagine the sexual possibilities with somebody that strong, that flexible, tireless and light as a feather, and who would look absolutely flawless the morning after a night of debauchery. Admittedly, in the first films, Orlando Bloom was stunningly pretty but with very little actually going on – like North Wales. Seeing him reprise the role, something’s changed. He’s not as pretty, but he’s considerably more interesting – like Bristol. The difference is more striking in Legolas than in any other returning characters – who knows what is supposed to happen to him over the 70-odd years between the end of The Hobbit and the Council of Elrond to change him from a middle-aged looking arrogant arsehole into a wide-eyed slip of a lad, but I’m so glad that they decided to bring him back and give him a whole little subplot with Tauriel the She-Elf Warrior – even if it’s essentially just fan fiction, now. It’s fan fiction that I am happy to consume.
The fact that many of the Riders of Rohan were women with false beards
It just makes me laugh. As does the fact that, in the scene where Aragorn kicks a severed head in frustration, Viggo Mortensen breaks his toe. And the fact that the Fellowship all got matching tattoos. And that Luke Evans as Bard looks more like Orlando Bloom than Orlando Bloom does. Sorry, I’ve managed to get back on to Bloom.
‘They’re taking the Hobbits to Isengard! Gard! Gard! Gard! Gard!’
The Internet Classic. Also, the fact that footage exists of Orlando Bloom on the Hobbit set, drunk and still in Legolas costume, trying to recreate his part until he gets the giggles. Dammit, I’m back with Bloom again.
So, however the last Hobbit film turns out, I will be there, as I have been since 2001, saying goodbye to an old friend. And I suppose one thing I can take away from Peter Jackson’s Film finally coming to an end, it’s that I can never say that there wasn’t enough of it.
Gabby Hutchinson Crouch is a comedy writer, mum & nerd. She writes for BBC Radio Comedy and Huffington Post UK, and once saw Dawn French coming out of a toilet.