The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies ★½

"The Hobbit: The Three Hour Long Battle of Everything to Ever Live and Breath in Middle Earth" is textbook Peter Jackson (the Peter Jackson of recent years, that is) — overproduced, dumb and in a word, unnecessary. I found the first Hobbit to be enjoyable enough, and the second tolerable, but I’m three years older than I was when this trilogy began, and to take these films seriously has become an impossible task. I still love the Lord of the Rings trilogy, those films are a great achievement, but my issues with this Hobbit fiasco run so deeply, and the more I see of Middle Earth these days, the more annoyed I become.

I had this problem with the first two, and it somehow got even worse in this installment. These movies look awful. Smaug the dragon is really the only standout special effect in the trilogy; the rest is just poor green-screen and an overload of shoddy CGI, especially offensive as contrasted to the amazing practical effects, real background scenery and organic qualities of the Lord of the Rings. With the comical over-stylization of everything in sight, this feels more like a PG-13 Zack Synder ripoff than a fantasy epic of any self-worth, and as dismaying as this is to say, I think there is a real comparison to the Star Wars prequels to be made here as well.

There’s something so cheap and deficient about the storytelling. The persistent sidelining of Bilbo Baggins, the titular Hobbit (and the only interesting charatcer in this whole mess), the repetitive, exhaustive nature of the action, and possibly the most unforgivable offense of all — the movie pretending as if it has the right to carry some perverted sense of emotional weight at the end, as if these nine hours of self-importance, video-game-esque action and unintentionally hilarious attempts at drama could actually move a single member of the audience.

Despite the very occasional stirring moment or well directed action episode, the final chapter in this trilogy proves little other than that this whole endeavor was pointless to begin with. It’s all so shamelessly dragged out, and Peter Jackson obviously had no other ambition with this material than to churn out inferior replicas of his Rings films. "Battle of the Five Armies" is the worst Hobbit film, and its bloated, lazy nature only serves as a sickening reminder of the void of originality and passion in modern blockbuster filmmaking.

~From my blog

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