This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Caroline Medeiros’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
After the first two Hobbit movies which were both enjoyable and fun (with a little bit of flaws, but ok), here comes the third and last film of the Hobbit trilogy. In this film the people from Dalle are threatened by the awaken Smaug, Thorin has his Erebor and money and the orcs are coming for war. A lazy script deserves a lazy synopsis. Desolation of Smaug left us with a lot of loose ends, and I wasn’t annoyed by most of them, because there would be a third movie to fix it all. Well…
Right from the beginning I was immediately annoyed by the excess of CGI used in the construction of the city of Dale. Actually, I feel like this entire film was fake. The elves, the orcs, the dwarves who arrived for battle, none of it was real, and we can feel it in every single scene. We see an excess of action thrown in our face and a lot of computer generated characters fighting alongside and against another computer generated characters. Really? Everything looks like a video game with a great rendering. I’m sorry, but a lot of time and money spent in the construction of a virtual world, does not replace real people and real scenarios. If the film looks fake, it feels fake, and it bothers us so much that we don’t care about the characters inside it.
In the Desolation of Smaug, the film ends with the dragon flying towards the town to destroy it. After watching Battle of the Five Armies, I don’t get why they made this decision. They could have clearly left the destruction of the town as the end of the second film, if they had cut out some not so important scenes (stupid dwarf/elf romance perhaps?). There is a clear problem with the continuation that not only bothers me, but becomes extremely annoying. Now both the second and the third film became unfinished and with a beginning that has absolutely no pace. We will never be able to watch them and see them as good films separated from the rest.
I don’t get how this film was made by the same creative minds (and I highlight the word CREATIVE) of The Lord of the Rings. The script is lazy and uses the exact SAME formulas of the LOTR trilogy. We have the same “king corrupted and proud” storyline (Denethor/Thorin), we have the entire destruction of a town (Minas Tirith/Dale), we have the same honorable death (Boromir/thorin). All of this made me so angry and upset, and distracted. The film was so dependent on the LOTR trilogy, and repeating the same recipes, that it became bland. I’ve never studied cinema on a deep level, but I guess people who did, and have worked in this business for years, summed with a lot of examples, know that if we have such a strong movie as The Lord of The Rings, nobody should try to repeat it, because it won’t work. Especially if you clearly use the same recipe. We are not dumb.
The value of The Lord of the Rings was not in the fact that it repeated scenes from the book, or made references to it the entire time. The film is a masterpiece because although is based on an already existing book, it has its own concept and identity. This last Hobbit film has absolutely NO identity, and only repeats what LOTR has already done. Have these people forgotten that many of us watched it A THOUSAND TIMES? And that every line the characters say, every song played has its weight and power and a lot of meaning inside THAT story. If you use these same aspects in another movie IT WON’T WORK! We don’t want references, references, references in our face! We want a script that is so beautifully constructed as LOTR, and that has its own themes, its own lines and its own music, for God’s sake! But instead, we see and hear some of the most powerful lines repeated again by different chacters and the people from Dale playing the Gondor victory theme of Return of The King! Were they really unable to give the town of Dale its own music? The same composer who gave us one of the most incredible soundtracks in the history of cinema?
In the Tolkien books, especially Lord of the Rigs and The Hobbit, we don’t have much strong female characters, and that is a problem, I admit it. I specially loved Tauriel’s character. She was sweet and strong at the same time, she’s inserted in the action, and we’ve never seen an elven girl do that before. I’d liked the idea of the romance between her and Kili in the second film, because I thought it would remain something platonic. But the whole “If this is love, then I don’t want it” was just ridiculous! The Aragorn and Arwen’s romance works because it is subtle and dosed, and because we know there is a great story behind it, even if is not told in the movie. But this stupid Elf/dwarf romance came out of nowhere and escalated too quickly. I caught myself thinking: “Where did this come from?” I don’t get it. I felt confused and I honestly didn’t believe it.
I loved the two first films, especially because of such iconic scenes as the Dwarves arriving at Bilbo’s, the trolls’ entire sequence, riddles in the dark, the fight with the spiders, the scape from Thranduil’s palace, and the whole dialog between Bilbo and Smaug. I’ve waited a long time to see these scenes portrayed in the big screen and I’m thankful that they made them right. I think these beautiful scenes made the previous films good for me, and I feel like, without any clear reference to the book, Battle of the Five Armies became flat and tasteless, like a great food that has no seasoning. Not because I think that the films have to be exactly like the books, but because now I see that, taking away what we have in the book, we only have a cheap creation and a lack of imagination in the construction of this world in the cinema and lack of ability connecting The Hobbit with the Lord of the Rings in the right way.
We have a film called The Hobbit, that doesn’t even have a hobbit as a main character. Thorin became such an annoying asshole, that I didn’t even care as much as I should for his death. Peter Jackson clearly tried to repeat the same greatness that he managed in The Lord of the Rings using formulas that we see in a lot of cash cow movies, with absolutely no care for the meaning of the story. I feel sad that after such great two films, this trilogy had such a weak and lazy end. I never thought that I would say this, but I feel glad that Peter Jackson decided to not make another movie based in the Tolkien world and relieved that this is the last film of The Hobbit.