A Reaction to The Hobbit’s Tauriel: Strong but Still Not as Strong as a Man

So the Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug has been out for a couple weeks now, decease and yes, it took me this long to get to a point where I had the free time to write this. Starting TWO new jobs, around Christmas time (which is also boyfriend and dad birthday times), just kept me busy. I swear, I’m going to try and get back to posting often, like usual.

Moving on though.

Warning: the following has major spoilers for The Desolation of Smaug. Proceed with caution.

I was going to write an actual review for the movie but…I think I need to reread the book before I can do a fair review. I felt…well, I just am not sure how I feel about the movie yet. But I do feel very strongly about the character of Tauriel, and that needed to be said.

When I first heard they were adding a character, a brand new made-up character to The Hobbit movies, I was extremely skeptical. I knew they were adding Legolas in. Now, while Legolas does not actually make an appearance in The Hobbit, his father does, and he is a pivotal character in the Middle Earth world. So that didn’t bother me. But a whole brand new character? That was weird to me.

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But then I learned about Tauriel, and why she was created, and it made a lot of sense to me. The fact is, nerd is cool now. And while that irritates the hell out of my sixteen-year-old self (seriously…the teasing, the bullying…), I appreciate that girls, especially, are being introduced to fantasy and science fiction and all that. It makes me incredibly happy. And with that has come a plethora of strong, badass female characters.

Now Tolkien wrote DECADES ago, and so he only has a handful of female characters in his novels: Arwen, Eowyn, Galadriel. Galadriel has a tiny baby part in The Hobbit Part 1, but other than that…its a meat factory. Its all men. In this day and age, and with the fans that The Hobbit has garnered, it just made sense to make a female character. Tauriel, an elf living in the Mirkwood kingdom, was created.

And I’ll say this: Evangeline Lilly rocked this part. She’s a beautiful woman, seriously. I had a major crush on her while she was on Lost. So they definitely had that going for the character of Tauriel.

But they also made Tauriel SUPER badass. Seriously, I was blown away from the beginning at how awesome they made her. Like Legolas, she wields a bow and arrow and two short swords, and she rocks them. She’s quick, clever and brave as hell. She’s a perfect elf warrior, and I would find her completely intimidating in person. She’s a fighter, and an incredibly clever and loyal one, and honestly, Tauriel could have easily become a favorite for me, until…until they introduced her storyline and I felt disappointed, and cheated.

I really liked Tauriel, and the introduction of her character, especially when I learned why they did it. But when I actually watched the movie, and got her storyline…I felt incredibly cheated. Like “here you go…sort of”. I don’t understand how its possible that the directors, producers, writers, whomever, said they created Tauriel in the hopes of creating a strong female character for the female audience in a story that didn’t have one, and then give her a love story.

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Yeah, a love story. Because god forbid a female not have a love story.

They couldn’t just let Tauriel be super badass, wielding her weapons, and being a great fighter, who knew what the right thing to do was, whatever her king said. I don’t know why they felt it was necessary to introduce a love story to the movie, in the first place. The Hobbit is a full story already, and with adding the back story to the leading up to the LOTR, with the extra stories from The Silmarillion and the various appendices, there was just NO need to introduce a love story. It was unnecessary and incredibly stupid. And the fact that they gave it to the female character within five minutes of her being introduced just angered me to no end.

And okay, I love love stories. Fine. I really do. I ship pairs together, and I have my OTPs, and I have yet to write a novel that didn’t have romance in it. Hell, my novel A Little Less than Famous, is all completely a love story. I do love a good love story.

But I don’t feel like a love story was necessary in this movie. It just wasn’t. It detracted and was annoying and unnecessary. It just didn’t fit.

And here’s my thing: if you really wanted to argue for a love story, fine. If they felt like it was so “absolutely, totally, positively necessary” (so much sarcasm in my voice right there) to give Tauriel a love story, all right. Maybe I could have handled that.

But they didn’t just give her a love story. They gave her the most annoying and frustrating of love stories in the whole wide world, one that has been driven into the ground and makes me want to throw things: a love triangle. I mean, seriously? You HAD to make it so both Legolas and Kili were attracted to her, and vice versa. Why? Why?

It just makes me so incredibly frustrated and mad. I felt incredibly cheated. I felt like the filmmakers dangled this seriously badass, strong female character in my face but then were like “mmm, just kidding, she’s not THAT strong”. Because again, how dare we create a female character who is strong on her own, without any outside influences of romantic love, but just because she knows its the right thing to do. They should have made it so Tauriel chases down the Orcs because it was the right thing to do…and not alluded that she was doing it for Kili and his safety too. It just made me gag.

I feel like…Hollywood creates these strong female characters but they can’t seem to do it 100%. There is always a little bit of anti-feminism going on, just enough to show that the females are strong, but are not as strong as the males, and just enough that it won’t be noticed by most people.

Its like Carol Marcus in Star Trek Into Darkness. She is incredibly intelligent, and sneaks aboard the Enterprise because she knows something is amiss and she’s determined to figure it out. She is integral to some crazy moments in the movie. She gets the missiles open, she is an extremely strong character.

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And yet, they felt the need to undress her in the movie. Why? Seriously, it was completely pointless. Why couldn’t she just be the incredibly intelligent, beautiful and strong female character WITHOUT taking her clothes off?

Or Uhura, Zoe Saldana’s character in the Star Trek movies. She is also another incredibly strong female character, who is a great fighter, and is fiercely intelligent as well. And yet, while her, Spock and Kirk are heading down to the Klingon planet (an incredible danger that likely would have resulted in death had they not been saved), she feels the need to pull the whole “I’m-fine-but-not-really” stereotypical female reaction when she’s mad at her boyfriend. Seriously? Uhura is NOT like that at all; she is strong and dedicated to her job, and she’s going to do her job, whether she’s mad at Spock or not. And yet, they have her having this pissy, “female” reaction.

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Don’t get me wrong: I do think Tauriel is a very strong female character, and I liked her a lot. I liked her a lot as a character. I think she’s a great warrior and incredibly intelligent. I think we sometimes equate actual strength and fighting for strength in a female character but I also attribute strength to intelligence as well. An intelligent female character is also something that makes me happy.

 But I was incredibly disappointed in her storyline. I thought they sort of negated her purpose of being the strong female character that the movie needed by giving her a soft storyline. I know that even Evangeline Lilly was not into the idea of Tauriel having a love story, and they gave her a love triangle. Its incredibly disappointing to me.

Now, you don’t have to agree with me. I think there are plenty of people who won’t agree with me, but I do think that you should pay a little more attention to the portrayal of women in movies. Because even if you don’t necessarily agree with me, you have to admit it a little bit. Hollywood IS starting to make stronger female characters (like Katniss Everdeen…but really, we have to thank Suzanne Collins for that more than Hollywood), but if you look hard enough, you’ll see that its like “Here’s your strong character…but just not as strong as the boys”.

I hope in the last Hobbit movie that Tauriel will make a return, and in a warrior capacity more than the object of two male’s affections. She has so much potential to be an amazing character, and like I said, I honestly liked her a lot. I thought she had some incredible fight scenes and I think she could have a big impact in the third movie, as a fighter, and as the loyal, caring elf that she is.

But I really hope they phase out that love story nonsense, especially the triangle part of it. It was unnecessary, and frankly, insulting to me. I wanted to watch Evangeline kick ass, and while I did get that, I got an added storyline that had me leaving the movie theater with a sour taste in my mouth.

Take note, Hobbit filmmakers, you have a year to fix this. Don’t continue this baffling love story, especially if you’re doing it just to fill time. I want to see Smaug, and Bard, and the dwarves and Bilbo. I want to see the epic battle. That’s what matters to me.

What about you? What did you think of Tauriel? Share in the comments!  

Star Trek Into Darkness-Red Carpet Premiere and Review!

Yay, shop I can finally post my review and experiences for Star Trek Into Darkness. I wanted to post it right away but, well, I went to the red carpet premiere on Tuesday and the movie didn’t release til Thursday night so…I didn’t want to ruin anything. Or get in trouble. I mean, I didn’t need people tracking me down, and tackling me to the ground because I wrote about the movie before it premiered. 

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Not that I think that would actually happen. 

And I try to keep my reviews of ANYTHING as spoiler free as I possibly can. 

But I was lucky enough to be able to have a really cool experience this week. On Tuesday, i was able to head down to the Dolby Theater in Hollywood to attend the gray carpet (not red, gray!) premiere of Star Trek Into Darkness

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We headed down to Hollywood and Highland fairly early before the premiere, though my dear friends Sylvia and Marla had arrived at 9 am to gain us a good spot in line :) Myself, Tatiana, Megan, Gabriella and my sister, Jessica, joined them later in the day, prepared for a good time. 

When they started to let us in for the gray carpet premiere, we actually got to walk on the gray carpet which was pretty cool. I wish I had gotten some pictures of that part but I had turned my phone off in order to conserve battery so I could take pictures of all the cool celebs, but it was pretty rocking. Fans that were standing along the barricades on the sidewalks of Hollywood Blvd were waving and blowing kisses our way. It was pretty awesome :) 

We were able to get a free Star Trek shirt, which was super badass. I love free nerd swag!

Once we were all settled and waited for a bit, the celebrities arrived :) 

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Leonard Nimoy, the original Spock, and his wife

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Chris Pine, who plays Captain Kirk

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Zachary Quinto who plays Spock. I LOVE the look that his publicist (?) is giving. 

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A blurry picture of Karl Urban. He plays Bones in the movie, but it was also cool to see him because he plays Eomer in Lord of the Rings

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John Cho who plays Sulu.

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Zoe Saldana who plays Uhura in the movie. So pretty :) 

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Bruce Greenwood, who plays Christopher Pike

 

 

 

 

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The very beautiful Alice Eve, who plays Carol Marcus in the movie. 

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J.J. Abrams, the director of Star Trek, and soon to be the director of the new Star Wars movie. 

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Megan, myself, Tatiana, Sylvia and Gabriella, the girls of iFandoms Collide. You can watch our video below! 

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We made it onto the KTLA 5 news! Probably because we were flirting with the reporter, Doug Kolk, the ENTIRE time haha. 

Then we got to watch the movie, in 3D, no less. I also went and saw the movie again yesterday with the boyfriend so I am adequately capable of writing a review ;)

The movie sort of picks up where the last one left off: Captain Kirk and his crew are out in the galaxy aboard the Enterprise, exploring new planets and recording information on new species, doing exactly what Starfleet is meant to do. When Captain Kirk gets caught breaking a rule, he is demoted to first officer and Captain Pike takes over…that is until John Harrison, commander in Starfleet, attacks the Archives and then proceeds to attack a meeting of Starfleet commanders and first officers. Kirk is reinstated to the Enterprise and sent across the galaxy, after Harrison, to kill him. However, when he finds him, Harrison tells his own side of the story and suddenly, Kirk isn’t too sure what’s right and wrong, and who is really telling the truth. 

The Bad:

There isn’t a whole lot of bad to this movie, in my personal opinion. Some of the reviews I read had issues with Benedict Cumberbatch as the villain but I loved him. I do think that the movie had a bit of a cheese factor going on. I do think some of the moments that were meant to be emotional just ended up being cheesy. I also do think the ending was a bit cheesy. I’m trying to explain that without ruining the movie for anyone who has not seen it yet haha. I think it was a great movie but there were moments that were a *bit* over the top. 

The Good:

This movie was SO good. It had the right mix of action and emotion and laughter and drama and all of that. I get bored with most action movies because its all just action and I want to fall asleep. I love when there are jokes, and emotional depths to an action movie. I love seeing the relationship between Uhura and Spock, especially their little couple spat while on the way to track down Harrison. I loved seeing the friendship between Spock and Kirk grow, especially since Spock is so funny, with his logical ways. And Zachary Quinto just makes a damn good Spock. The actors all get into their character perfectly.

And they really create a story full of relatable and likable characters that makes a Star Wars fan like myself want to watch the old Star Trek shows. The characters are all ones that you end up liking. Even the smaller characters like Scotty (Simon Pegg), Sulu (John Cho), and Chekov (Anton Yelchin) were easy to like and easy to root for. 

I also disagree with the reviews I read. I thought Benedict Cumberbatch made a good villain, especially since the story of him as a villain is a bit more twisted than you would first believe. I think its his voice. He has that deep, sexy, rumbling voice. As soon as I heard that voice on screen, I was like, “agh, that’s my Sherlock!” He makes a formidable character, if not exactly the perfect villain, because of his ability to spout of monologues that show deep intelligence, especially with that deep voice. He does the same sort of thing in Sherlock but in Sherlock he’s the good guy. 

I also liked the story. As I said before, I love action movies. I do like action. This is what draws me to movies and books that are science fiction and fantasy and dystopian because of the action and the badass fights we get to see. But I also like action with a complexity, with a story that’s full of emotions and drama and politics and things like that and Star Trek Into Darkness definitely accomplishes that. You get enough of action, romance, humor, drama, mystery and all of that in just one movie. It leaves you wanting more and more as the movie goes along. According to Wikipedia (I know, not the most reputable of sources but still), there is a plan for this series to be a trilogy and I am definitely all for that. The movie ended on a note that makes you want more. Hopefully we will not have to wait very long :)

Rating:

4 out of 5 stars. Nearly perfect. 

Recommended or Not?

Definitely. Go see it. Even if you’re anti-Star Trek, I really do think you’ll enjoy it. I am a Star Wars fan not a Star Trek fan and I absolutely enjoyed the movie. 

And it was an absolutely fantastic time at the premiere. It was my second premiere ever and now I’m dying to go to all kinds of premieres. I am definitely going to make my way into the City of Bones, Catching Fire, and Divergent premieres. 

Don’t forget to check out the iFandoms Collide’s vlog, highlighting our time at the premiere!

Have you seen Star Trek Into Darkness yet? What did you think? As always, let me know in the comments!