The Rundown: Further padding of the short novel of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit into a third painful installation in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings six part movie series. Two hours and fifteen minutes of pointless battles and over the top emotions, preceded by another 15 minutes of Smaug action. WARNING: MORE SPOILERY THAN USUAL. Well, you all knew it was coming. The thrilling conclusion of Peter Jackson’s superbly extended series of movies about Hobbits and their emotions. Or is it Dwarves and their emotions? Elves? There are a lot of emotions in this movie, though the one it inspires in me is mostly disgust. When I first heard that The Hobbit was going to be made into three movies instead of two, I was understandably skeptical and worried that the decision to even make these movies was just another cash grab. With its release, those worries are now confirmed. Let’s dive into the travesty shall we? The Hobbit: Oh My God is There Really Another One, picks up where the last one left off with Smaug heading towards the defenseless Lake Town to make them pay for Thorin’s mistakes. With the town in disarray, only Bard is able to think clearly enough and shoot straight enough with his heirloom black arrow to bring down the mighty Benedict Cumberbatch. In the wake of the dragon’s death, Thorin’s band of dwarves reconnoiters inside the mountain searching for the Arkenstone that will secure Thorin’s claim to the crown of Erebor. Meanwhile, a dispossessed Lake Town as well as the elves of Murkwood converge on the mountain intending to claim what is rightfully owed them by the greedy dwarves. With the Elves, Humans, and Dwarves fighting amongst themselves, they hardly notice the huge horde of Orcs that is also descending upon the mountain. They too want to claim the treasure within and as a bonus, kill every dwarf they find. Oh, and there’s some kind of thing where Gandalf, Sarumon, Galadriel, and Elrond team up to fight Sauron and do a thing. So, with all that out of the way, where to start on why this movie made me cringe multiple times and erupt into sardonic laughter constantly. We could start where they basically extend a part of the original book that is used mostly as a backdrop for big events and turns into a two hour travesty. With all the different combatants and the different areas they invented apart from the mountain, it was hard to tell exactly what was going on in the battle until there was a break in the action. Set pieces are created and destroyed in an array of ways that deny the laws of physics, and push the boundaries of bad CGI. Some of the decision they make are just blatantly ridiculous. At one point in the film, the Dwarven army is cornered against the mountain and the Orcs are massing for a final thrust to destroy them all. While they are posturing and getting ready to charge, four massive troll/monkey/beast things covered in mean looking armor, step from the ranks. When all looks lost, Thorin and his band bursts from the mountain to mount a counteroffensive. As soon as they appear, four gigantic javelins appear from nowhere and with one-shot the four huge beasts are defeated all at once. From nowhere. It’s a panoramic shot, it’s not like there was a character off-screen who you wouldn’t notice tossing a huge javelin. This is only one of the many ridiculous moments throughout this movie. We could also go back into the ridiculous subplot revolving around Kili and Tyrael romance. It was pretty bad in the last movie, when there was the innuendo while she was locking him up, the furtive glances while she talked about her love of stargazing. Then there was the glowy light show where she healed him. In this movie we get a bit of Dwarf/Elf animosity from Thrandiel (Lee Pace, keeping on being awesome), some “bro, you should love me because my dad’s a king” from Legolas (why is he in this again?), and finally a whole bunch of people getting emotional because someone they really like is in danger. Fili becomes imperiled, so Kili mans up and slaughters a bunch of Orcs. Tyrael, also in danger, better man up more and take on more Orcs. Seriously, I feel like they could make an even MORE elite team of fighters if they just held their loved ones at sword point for the whole movie. Speaking of getting emotional, the way this movie deals with emotional arcs is ridiculous. The Kili/Tyrael romance is based on nothing except for two interactions and a shared love of pointy bits of metal. Then we have Brand’s love for his children, which apparently doesn’t extend to using one as the cross-section of a makeshift bow while a fire-breathing dragon comes straight at them both. Finally, we have Bilbo Baggins and his inability to remember how to say the word ‘friend’. Then there’s some real cheese and horrible dialogue inserted, I feel, to try and make us feel something for these characters that were never intended to be in this story to begin with. I just couldn’t handle it. It’s just a lot of posturing and introspection about the nature of love, all the midst of a huge battle for the very fate of… a mountain. Finally let’s talk about the battle itself. Where one scene ends and another begins is chaotic at best. The action keeps cutting away to different parts of the battle, even cutting away from the main characters to follow foot soldiers. We have an inner struggle with Thorin dealing with his dwarfish greed, all the while dwarves are just dying all over the place. Not to mention that the fights that I actually wanted to see more of were either cut short, or so disjointed it was hard to tell who won, or when it was even over. The epic battles between leaders of monsters and men devolved into two maniacs hacking at scenery instead of each other. Then people rally, and all of a sudden it’s all over. I don’t know how it ended. I think the good guys one, but that’s only because they’re all still walking around and there isn’t a huge orc overlord making demands. Overall I’d have to say this is by far the worst movie, not just in the Lord of the Rings series (because it sure as hell does not deserve to be part of The Hobbit), but that Peter Jackson has ever made. The pacing is bad, the acting is worse, and the effects leave so much to be desired. Add that to the crime of dismembering a classic piece of literature to make a not-so-quick buck off all the poor saps who are going to see this movie anyways (me included) and it really leaves a bad taste in my mouth. If you can resist seeing it in theaters, do so and wait for it to come to home video. For shame, Peter Jackson, for shame. P.S.: If you like The Hobbit check out the 1977 animated version. Really does it justice. See larger image The Hobbit Deluxe Edition New From: $10.58 USD In Stock The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies (2014)2.0Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.