The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies ★★

Although I think they're not very good, I do think the first two Hobbit films are fairly enjoyable. I wish I could say the same for The Battle of the Five Armies, but regrettably, only the first half of that statement applies here. One of many big problems here is how completely inert the drama is. Thorin is afflicted with "dragon sickness," which makes him stubborn and aloof (I should add here that oppressively obstinate characters are one of my least favorite plot tropes, so this is an issue for me from the start). And while this affliction is meant to be quite distressing, it falls totally flat as these were already the character's defining qualities in the previous films. Had some sense of warmth or kindness been established in An Unexpected Journey or The Desolation of Smaug, perhaps this would have been more impactful (Luke Evans' Bard - one of the only likable characters in the prequel trilogy - is a far more compelling version of what Thorin could have been pre-Five Armies). Instead, there's no convincing sense of transformation, so the entirety of the film's first half is dramatically moot as a result. The film's second half, of course, is equally limp, despite (or because of?) its heavy emphasis on the eponymous battle. There's not a single action scene as memorable or fun as anything in the previous two films (which isn't a particularly high bar to clear to begin with). The whole film just feels totally static, operating at 90% fluff to 10% meat. There's a lot of other frustrating things I could mention, but the last point I'll make is that if you're going to put a bunch of rad four-hundred-foot-long worms in your movie, maybe give them more than seven seconds of screen-time? Every minute wasted on Ryan Gage is a minute that could have (and should have) been spent on sweet, brutal worm carnage.

Block or Report

Joshua liked this review