The Twitter campaign for this movie was #OneLastTime. So it only seems fitting that Peter Jackson, the man who truly doesn’t know how to stop when he’s ahead, took one final shot at ruining his far superior Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Written and directed by the aforementioned Jackson, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” is the final film of the Hobbit trilogy, the prequel series to the Lord of the Rings. Martin Freeman stars as Bilbo, Ian McKellen plays that lovable wizard Gandolf, and Richard Armitage plays Thorin, the leader of the Dwarves as the trio try and protect their mountain from invading foreign armies.
I’ll say what everyone has said since it was announced that the Hobbit films would be broken up from two films into a trilogy: it does not have the substance to sustain three films. To me, all I heard when Jackson explained it was “cha-ching!” (an additional movie means an additional $900 million). And after “Five Armies” features more of the made up characters, forced side plots and slack narrative that made the first two films so mediocre, it is only confirmed that this trilogy was a cash grab.
It is really hard to review a movie like this. I can’t really knock it for having no real pacing, plot, or character development because it was set up to be a huge epic finale with lots of confrontations. Sure, whatever. But the entire time the orcs were killing dwarves, and elves were fighting orcs, and humans were kind of just running around, all I could think was, “what’s the point of all this?”.
Truly, though, for all the fighting and violence in this film, it is hard to tell who is who, and each of the “five armies” motivations is only mentioned in passing. And then it all comes to an end. A glorious, anticlimactic end. No, but seriously: some of the conflicts just end, and there are some main characters who disappear into the conflict before never being seen again. Got to love Jackson and his inability to have a proper wrap-up, right?
There is also the forced elf-dwarf romance that on top of being a waste of time also features some cringe-inducing lines about love.
It will upset fanboys, but here’s the truth: Peter Jackson is the new George Lucas. He creates this grand trilogy, with interesting characters, fantastic storytelling, and above all, practical effects. Years later, he creates a prequel trilogy with underwritten characters, forced storylines connecting the two trilogies, and worst of all uses an overabundance of CGI. The orcs don’t look so glaringly fake here as they did in the first two films, but still. The original Rings films were made famous for using costumes; the Hobbit trilogy is just like the Star Wars prequels, and it is really hard to defend Jackson.
By the time “Battle of the Five Armies” is wrapping it, it ties into the beginning of “Fellowship of the Ring” before slowly panning onto a map of Middle Earth, clearly a nod by Jackson that it is the end of the Lord of the Rings saga. In “Moneyball”, Billy Beane asks if you would rather die from a shot to the head or five to the chest. The Hobbit trilogy seems like it falls under the latter category, as all it did was make me miss the original trilogy, and be glad that this grueling series has finally come to an end.
Critics Rating: 5/10