The Hobbit - The Battle of the Five Armies Movie Review
The Hobbit - The Battle of the Five Armies Movie Review Metadata
I genuinely wanted to love the concluding chapter of The Hobbit. But I didn’t. In fact, I was very much frustrated with it. I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.
Smaug was in it. Such a wasted cliffhanger. The film picks up immediately following Bilbo’s alarming proclamation in Desolation, but Smaug’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) limited dialogue and rather snappy work razing Lake Town were underwhelming to say the least. Why wasn’t his face-off with Bard (Luke Evans) included in the previous film? Had you not shoehorned that faux-romance and everything involving Legolas, Smaug going nuclear would have been aces. The split-up doesn’t work for either film. Where Desolation felt empty, Five Armies feels bloated.
Was it the perverted abuse of CGI? These films overflow with digital bits, but one of the greatest satisfactions of The Fellowship of the Ring or The Two Towers were those tasty morsels of practical effects and creepy make-ups. Remember the Orcs and Goblins?! OMG! What happened? Five Armies is cramped by its poorly implemented CGI characters, the mechanically orchestrated armies, and the ridiculous fight sequences…I’m looking at you head-butting dwarf (Dain, played by CGI! Billy Connolly). While we’re at it, you could have done without Legolas (Orlando Bloom) riding/steering bats by their legs, or that equally unbearable slow-motion escape atop falling boulders. Legolas is light on his feet, sure, but that was utter nonsense. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
Were the shortcomings due to stretching Tolkien’s (standalone) novel across a trio of movie-going experiences? Perhaps! But that horse has been beaten to death by critics and fans alike, there’s nothing to gain by revisiting the stable. Of course, after sitting through Five Armies, evidence now supports this should have been a two-flick pony. On a related note, kudos to the amount of beasts-turned-transportation you were able to get away with, someone was thinking outside-the-box.In truth, these films were made for superfans of the Extended Editions of your Lord of the Rings blu-rays and DVD’s. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and the previous two entries are excessive marathons meant to be viewed as a whole. They don’t stand-alone, leaving the uninitiated scratching their heads. Viewed together, I could almost justify melting into my lounger and cramming my face with junk food all day. Viewed together they have a beginning and an end.
I appreciate everything you did for Lord of the Rings. I even commend your effort adapting The Hobbit into three films. By the way, the studio made you do it…right? Despite the shortcomings, you were always the right man for the job. I will gladly follow you, one last time.
Very Nearly A Big Fan