film monster, the hobbit the battle of the five armies

New Line and MGM/2 hr., 24 min.PG-13

Written by: Christopher Dees

This review will be as spoiler free as possible.  Wait, what’s that?  You know how it ends?  Then, you probably don’t need to watch this movie.  I really wish I could tell you that even if you know the ending, it’s still worth seeing, but aside from some pretty visuals and an epic battle or two, it’s sadly just unnecessary padding.

For the many who never bothered to sit down and read the Tolkien tomb in grade school, the movie begins literally where the slightly superior Desolation of Smaug left off.  And instead of building on the splendid dragon established prior, we only see Smaug go on a rampage within the first ten minutes before he is taken down by Bard (Luke Evans) and son. From there, the movie spends a ridiculous amount of time establishing the power of Greed taking over Thorin as he continues his fruitless hunt for the Arkenstone.  Meanwhile, the romance love triangle subplot between Kili (Aiden Turner), Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) and Legolas (Orlando Bloom) continues to limp along, Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), Elrond (Hugo Weaving) and Saruman (Christopher Lee) rescue Gandalf (Ian McKellen) fight back Sauron without much tension, and Bilbo (Martin Freeman) tries to figure out how best to help Thorin with his greed (keeping the Arkenstone away from Thorin) as his main and seemingly only objective. Oh, and the rest of the merry dwarf company do absolutely nothing.

film monster, the hobbit the battle of the five armies

And honestly, that’s about it.  There’s nothing much to discuss with the basic plot that you already knew about.  While it’s nice to see some of these characters have their stories conclude (most of them in expectedly epic fashion), it all feels forced and drawn-out.  It’s bad enough that we know going in what to expect, but it’s even worse when you feel like Grandmaster Hobbit Peter Jackson is doing little else than fulfilling a contractual obligation.  With the Lord of the Rings trilogy, you had one movie per book with each one having all the detail necessary and the big effects without sacrificing human drama or nice character moments.  With this trilogy, and especially this final act, it’s one book painfully stretched into three and crammed with big effects and too many characters without enough human drama.  You’d think that Jackson and company would make up for the lack of interest in the story and characters with epic battle scenes.  Alas, as good as the final battles are, they just don’t hold a candle to the battles of Minas Tirith or even Helm’s Deep from the previous trilogy.

film monster, the hobbit the battle of the five armies

As a conclusion to the trilogy, it’s serviceable.  All of the important threads leading up to the Fellowship are tied up or set up.  Halfway through, though, you won’t be able to escape the feeling that Peter Jackson could have crammed this movie into thirty minutes and placed it at the end of Desolation and not have lost anything in the translation.  It’s a shame that Peter Jackson has allowed his trilogy to be maligned by a prequel trilogy that could have been told as one interesting tale.

C/3 out of 5


Posted on December 29, 2014, in Movie Reviews and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: