This review is going to be a short one because I have already wasted a little over 2.5 hours of my life on this train wreck of a movie. (Look on the bright side: you didn’t have to read the whole review to know the verdict)
This is the final part of the Hobbit trilogy, the ‘epic’ conclusion of a story that should have ended with the second movie itself. Sometime around this time last year we watched Bilbo and the dwarves make their way to the lonely mountain where Thorin hoped to claim his rightful place as king under the mountain only to find that the its previous occupant had not vacated the mountain.
Battle of the five armies picks off right where the previous one ended: a rather pissed off Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) making his way to Laketown to wreak havoc.
A good portion of the movie is essentially the battle of the Five armies (largely the Orcs vs the Elves and the people of lake town) which feels extremely bloated. Its sole purpose is to distract the audience from the fact that there is nothing resembling a script that is capable of filling the 2.5 hours dedicated to this movie.
Martin Freeman, the only highlight of this whole side show, doesn’t have much of screen time in this movie which, I must admit, is akin to what happens in the book. He gets knocked out at the beginning of the battle and only wakes up when the whole thing ends. Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving and Cate Blanchett make a token appearance probably for the sake of nostalgia more than anything else.
The CGI is top notch but sometimes I wonder how they are able to create an entire realistic Orc army but fail miserably at something as simple as showing Tauriel tumble down a cliff. Even LoTR is filled with inconsistent CGI like this. I thought Weta digital would have figured this out buy now.
The movie feels thin and stretched, “…like butter scraped over too much bread.”, if I may borrow as line, and the reasons for this are obvious. The writers and Jackson had so little to work on while creating the script – The book is only 289 pages long. There is not enough content in it to make 2 movies let alone 3. This along with several cringe worthy dialogues make watching this movie a real chore. (“Legolas: These bats are bred only for one purpose – War” (thanks Captain); “Tauriel: Why does it hurt so much?” “Thranduil:“Because it was real”.) There are lots more but my brain seems to have terminated the grey cells that stored that information.
And as if this wasn’t enough, there are totally ridiculous action sequences that made me roll my eyes. They also served as comic relief but I am pretty sure this was not something the director had intended. There is a scene where Thorin and his compadres decide to take on Azog who is standing on top of of a cliff. No sooner had Thorin stated his intent to the other dwarves, out of nowhere comes a bunch of Rams with golden horns. They then mount these creatures who then proceeds to climb the mountain as if it was no ones business! There is another one where Legolas (what is he doing in this movie anyway?) finds himself falling when a bridge (ok, it was actually a tower that fell on its side) he is fighting on is destroyed and get this, he just runs back up to safety by hopping on the falling stones… in mid air! I am serious. I couldn’t make this stuff up even if I tried.
To say that I was extremely disappointed is an understatement. Cringe worthy dialogues, stretched out battle scenes, totally unnecessary characters and a non existent script makes this one movie you can miss this holiday season.
The One Review rating: 4/10