Peter Jackson what are you doing…
I watched the new Hobbit movie instead of studying for my finals like I do every year around this time. But this time, I got very limited enjoyment out of it. You’d think a giant battle in the middle earth universe would suck you in and wow you.
The Battle of the Five Armies is composed of three parts:
Part one is the conclusion of the second movie, which happens in about the first 15 minutes. I wouldn’t be surprised if this pisses people off after the cliff hangover the last movie ended on, because it is a little bit of a slap in the face.
Part two consists of about 45 minutes of setup for the big battle.
Part three is an hour and a half battle. I know what you’re thinking, “Awesome! So it’s like Helms Deep from The Two Towers?” The answer is a solid no. Where that battle was epic, felt real, and had actual tension; this one lacks almost all of that. The majority of everything looks really CGI, the violence is turned down to almost a PG level, and the climax fight scenes are so laughable I couldn’t bother to care what happened.
Now The Hobbit movies are filled with stuff Peter Jackson has made up to fill more screen time, but here there are just so many unnecessary scenes that detract from the overall movie. Hell, there are even characters that should have been left out and are given entirely too much screen time.
The romance between Tauriel and Kili (the elf and dwarf) is another “not in the book” subplot that takes away from the overall story. It doesn’t make sense that they are in love and it is hardly believable to an audience that they’d care so much for each other even though they’ve only spoken maybe twice. It became almost as annoying as another romance from a different set of prequels…
There are some moments in the film that rely on deus ex machina and there are other moments that don’t make a whole lot of sense all together. Aggravated by the fact that the film has some continuity errors where things will just appear out of nowhere or someone will be lying somewhere, but in the next scene they will have moved to a different spot. Some of this may be explained in the extended editions, but when you watch in the theater these moments make you scratch your head.
The conclusion is extremely brief and doesn’t provide much closure for the characters or the aftermath of what happened in the movie. Seems like Peter Jackson got half way through the movie and just said “f*** it.”
“Well is it any good?” You ask, trying to hold back the tears. The answer is sorta.
The acting is still really good for the most part, especially Martin Freeman who knocks it out of the park. Bilbo and Thorin’s interactions are all great, as you get to see their relationship change and develop. The battle definitely had some good moments and there were scenes throughout the film that made you glad to be back in Middle Earth.
Unfortunately the bad moments stick out more than the good ones.
Overall, The Battle of the Five Armies is a disappointing entry into the Lord of the Rings series. Where the other Hobbit movies were at least fun and had a sense of adventure, The Battle of the Five Armies is riddled with too many unintentionally hilarious moments, out of place scenes, and a lack of heart that made the original Trilogy great.
Overall score: 6/10 stars
Now excuse me as I watch The Two Towers and cleanse myself.
*Spoilers (?) Below*
My main beef with this movie is what they did to Legolas. In the original trilogy, Legolas was a fan favorite and had a great character arc and relationship with the other main characters. Here Legolas is just some robot who is in a love triangle. He really likes the elf girl, she doesn’t like him, and then he acts moody and cold all the time. Sometimes he goes all Matrix Reloaded in action scenes and you can’t help but laugh.
When everything went into slow motion and he started running up the falling debris, the entire theater started laughing. The entire theater.
Legolas isn’t even in The Hobbit book, so not only was it unnecessary to have him at all but his character is almost unlikable. Legolas also looked very different, almost like he was CGI the whole movie…except he wasn’t.