Here it is, here it is, the last of the Peter Jackson versions of those oh so famous middle earth stories. In keeping with the spirit of the film lets just hop to it shall we?
A lot of money was spent on this film wasn’t it? Believe me when i say it is all up in the screen. This is without a doubt the biggest in scale of the three Hobbit films and the battle itself rivals in scale to the siege of Minas Tirith in Return of the King. In fact if you’re in the mood for almost nothing but sword swinging action then this entry into the franchise certainly tops them all, as the action is just about wall to wall in its 2 1/2 hour running time.
Oh my, this is starting to look like my review of The Desolation of Smaug which it unfortunately has to be.
I stated in that earlier review that the narrative of The Hobbit being split into 3 films was unnecessary. Frankly, after having viewed this last entry, the greed involved in making this new series is shown in all its glory. This film starts naturally where the last one left off, with Smaug heading to Lake-Town to torch it. He is then subsequently and unsurprisingly killed by Bard the Bowman in about 15 or so minutes of arriving.
Why didn’t this happen in The Desolation of Smaug? Seriously. The inclusion of Smaug’s death would have helped the previous film’s narrative tremendously. As something would have actually happened in that 3 hour-long movie; cutting it out and placing it in the previous movie certainly wouldn’t hurt The Battle of the Five Armies, as its story structure starts “after” Smaug has been killed. Also the previous film would have been able to end like all the rest of the movies in the series, instead of a horrible stop dead cliff hanger that leaves The Desolation of Smaug hanging out alone in the LOTR movies like the bloated, pointless, bastard son it is.
The perfunctory love story that started in the previous film continues on here, and is still painfully awkward and unnecessary. I still can’t remember the good-looking dwarf’s name (or any of the others except Thorin and Balin), nor discern any real reason as to why a romance was included other than to fill out some need that there has to be a love story of some type in large-scale war films.
Having the action of the film taking up the lions share of the hour running time makes the film go by rather quickly, but leaves me rather tired of it by the end. There’s only so many times i can see Legolas or Thorin almost kill their respective opponents (after they have killed dozens of others far more easily), or the others mow down Ork after Ork before it all just turns into white noise.
Lastly, there is still that element of phoniness to the whole endeavour that is hard to place. It’s not as obvious and distracting as it was in The Desolation of Smaug, but it’s just the way they speak and what they speak that hammers home the fact that the writing of this new trilogy just isn’t up to par with the previous entries.
While The Hobbit could have been a great little addition and prequel to the fact that it was ballooned up to the epic length trilogy that despite the best intentions of its creators, manages to undermine the whole affair. The Hobbit in the end doesn’t measure up to The Lord of the Rings, not thematic weight, not in narrative weight/strength.
Setting all that aside though, i did have fun in this last entry into the series, and functions as 2 1/2 hours of pay off to the last boring entry and is most certainly worth a look if you are a fan or have seen the others.
*** OUT OF FIVE