To be honest I have been having a hard time with the Hobbit films. I enjoy them, but not as much as I think I should and I don’t hate them as much as other people do. I think my position on The Hobbit movies is similar to my stance on the Star Wars prequel trilogy. I enjoy it, but I do understand that it is significantly less than the original trilogy’s quality. So how do I feel about the final Hobbit movie? Let’s review The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
The cliffhanger from the last film was completely unnecessary. If you know the story of The Hobbit, then you know that Smaug the dragon dies. The cliffhanger from the previous film ends with Smaug flying to Laketown in order to destroy it. This film opens with Smaug already at Laketown setting it ablaze. Smaug then proceeds to die within the first 10 minutes of the film before the opening titles are even up. If Smaug was going to die so early I feel like there wasn’t much of a point to that cliffhanger. I get that it allows for a major action piece to come early in the film, but it just feels like we were manipulated into expected a bigger confrontation.
I’m not sure if I liked this movie because it was good or because it was so over the top ridiculously bad that I enjoyed it anyways. This film included scenes such as Gandalf desperately trying to get a fix from his pipe, Legolas riding a giant bat upside down, giant war worms that appear and then never again, a dwarf who wields a giant hammer but uses headbutts more, a battle-moose, and a Were-Bear air drop. Are these moments good or are they so bad that they are good? To be perfectly honest, I saw this film awhile ago and I still can’t decide.
I really liked the design of this film. The Middle Earth films have always had beautiful designs and set pieces, but this film definitely pulled it off. There is a moment where every member of our band of dwarves puts on new armor to prepare for the upcoming battle and each of the new armaments looked absolutely stunning. There were very few pieces of armor in this film that I wouldn’t want to own myself. As a final romp into the realm of Middle Earth, this movie was beautiful to look at.
This film was very well paced. I understand that this was the shortest of the Middle Earth films and it feels like it. The majority of the film is the title battle and the film keeps a breakneck speed throughout the fight. Normally I find myself checking my watch on longer films due to some flabby piece in the middle that probably could have been shortened, but this filmed did a good job with every minute of its screen time.
Did I have a good time? Yes, and that’s what this review really comes down to. Whether the film was just good or so bad that it was good, I still enjoyed the film and had a great time. I feel like one little book didn’t have to be spread so thin across 3 movies, but overall this series has been a fun ride for me. I feel like it’s time to put Middle Earth to bed…..and not returned to. There really isn’t much else that can be adapted to film and they shouldn’t try to be honest. Leave Middle Earth to these two wonderful trilogies that we got. 3.5 out of 5.