The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies ★½

Some individual setpieces work, but overall there's some huge tonal problems and some absolute nonsense pacing. For a visual spectacle movie, the CGI looks pretty rushed and awful, and has the added detriment of making everything feel so intangible and weightless. Considering this story was nine hours long, most of the twelve dwarves had nothing to say and no impact on the story. And all the scenes with Legolas and Tauriel are a total chore.

But I guess they'd kind of trapped themselves into a corner - if anyone ever made a live action Hobbit movie, it'd have to narratively flow into the tone of the LotR movies, and if they waited until those more elderly actors passed away they'd have to recast all those iconic roles... Although I'd argue that's a compelling argument to not make these movies at all, at least not as live-action films.

It really is a shame. There's a couple patches of this movie where you can clearly tell they've stopped inventing stuff wholecloth and they're adapting a patch of the original book (like Bilbo's stealthy plea to the elf King, or Bilbo and Gandalf's farewell) that are so charming and whimsical. If they'd made a whole movie just of those it could've been something special.

I think these Hobbit movies will be remembered as a huge missed opportunity - they could have made something wondrous out of this story if they hadn't stretched it out so hard into three movies and rushed to meet such a quick deadline.

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