The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies ★★

I'm not sure just what I was expecting from The Hobbit III, and I suppose, appropriately enough, I'm not entirely certain what I got out of it other than a bright red upside-down "V" pressed into the bridge of my nose from those stupid, uncomfortable IMAX glasses.

The story finds Bilbo and company wrapping up affairs just like you remember from the book, or in my case, the 1977 cartoon. Like the two movies before it, this one felt bloated to me. I know a lot of people have already voiced opinions about why on Earth this short novel warranted three movies. I think now, having seen them all, I feel qualified to voice the opinion: No, everyone who said it before was right. It should have taken only one movie to tell this story.

There are some pretty visual effects, and the hair & makeup crew deserve all the awards they're going to get. Don't expect much in the way of acting though. Martin Freeman, a terrific, emotive actor does all he can to infuse the film with a heart. It's hard though when much of the supporting cast, who have had their characters dialed-in for a decade, more or less phone-in their parts.

I never read any of the Harry Potter books. Even still, through varying circumstances and invitations, I saw all eight of the movies in the theater. When the last installment ended, I recall having a real sense of relief, like a great weight had been lifted off of my usually more selective cinema outings. Tonight, I totally felt the same way. I know that what I'm going to remember about this movie more than anything else is the relief I feel that it's finally over.

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