The [Unnecessary] Defining Chapter | Review of The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies


By: Cynthia Ayala

Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world. Enraged, Smaug rains his fiery wrath down upon the defenseless men, women and children of Lake-town. Obsessed above all else with his reclaimed treasure, Thorin sacrifices friendship and honor to hoard it as Bilbo’s frantic attempts to make him see reason drive the Hobbit towards a desperate and dangerous choice. But there are even greater dangers ahead. Unseen by any but the Wizard Gandalf, the great enemy Sauron has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain. As darkness converges on their escalating conflict, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide – unite or be destroyed. Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his friends in the epic Battle of the Five Armies, as the future of Middle-earth hangs in the balance.

A movie that is LOOSELY based on the novel “The Hobbit” by J. R. R. Tolkein. This overzealous and unnecessary film will disappoint fans of the original Lord of the Rings trilogy. Peter Jackson, the who was so determined to stay true to the Lord of the Rings series has faltered and has rewritten the Hobbit novel, turning a small adventurous comedic children’s book into a prolonged and redundant trilogy.

Many elements that Jackson added to the film were superfluous. The development was long, dragged out and the film series could have easily ended with the second movie, being a more impactful, fast-paced film series. But money is money and this is a franchise that has made bundles of it.

Now, personal feelings aside, this was an okay movie. Acting was great, there is no question about it. Evangeline Lily was the breakout star here, growing much in terms of acting skills since her days on Lost. As Tauriel, she brings to life this strong, powerful, emotional character. Her creation into the film series was the best thing Jackson could have done in terms of taking liberties with the novel. She brought out a deeper side of Legolas and created a flow between events of the story. But that is also due to the ensemble as a whole because they all had the chemistry they needed to bring to life this film.

However, even though the acting was amazing (and honestly the best thing going for this film), all the light humor within the first two films vanished completely from this film making the humor added at the end of this film incredibly misplaced. It didn’t flow with the overall feel of the story. It has such a dark beginning that happens to fast, too fast, that everything that follows, is dragged out. The battle sequence did not need to be that extended. Going back and forth and back and forth between Thorin blocking off his home to the battle and then back to Thorin and his madness and then the battle, before he finally decides (after a few more sequences like that) to join the fight. Come on, the audience already knows that he is being affected by his greed, they already know that he’s losing himself, they don’t need this constant back and forth between the shots. It adds nothing to the film, other than to bog it down and make the audience yawn.

As for Thorin, the book aside, this character was a prick. Yes, he went through a lot in his life, but he was beyond broody in this movie, verging on the cruel and overly serious. Even Batman has more humor than this. The audience can’t sympathize with a character structured this badly.

Many elements make this an okay film: acting, chemistry and special effects. Nevertheless, the writing is nowhere near as good as the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The writers added more than what needed to be added, bogging down the film with extensive and redundant sequences that were heavy on the drama.

Word of advice, skip the movie and read the book. It’s WAY better. [½ (out of 4 ‘s) | D]

–    Film Credits     –

Directed by: Peter Jackson

Screenplay by: Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner, Fran Walsh & Peter Jackson

Based on The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving & Orlando Bloom

Genre | Rating | Length: Fantasy, Adventure | PG-13 | 2 hr. 24 min.

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