The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 3/5
Well the most unnecessary trilogy ever is over, and it ends well-ish. Lots of CG and fighting. Spoilers follow, duh. I have a lot to say.
I went to see the movie on a special “Go watch 9 hours of Middle Earth” thing at the local IMAX. People were in costumes. These same people also cheered during reveals and applauded at the end and knew every line to every song. That was neat.
Its a well done movie. The acting is top notch. The visuals are excellent. There is some pretty good character progression. I enjoyed the nerdy things.
Martin Freeman does an excellent job and so did our trio of elves. McKellan is great. I’m not as impressed by any of the dwarves, but they still were very good.
I really enjoyed the architecture/armor differences. Seeing the different dwarf style vs the human style vs the orc etc. really helps to set them apart. Seeing the artists go nuts on these things made me really happy. I know its to be expected, but I just really liked looking at it.
It still isn’t quite on the level of the Lord of the Rings for me, but it was good. Very good. There definitely is filler. Action schlock filler that is still neat to look at but it is filler. Less filler-y than the other films.
The ending is smooth and offers closure which is nice. Didn’t take forever like I was worrying. Full circle!
Especially watching the three films back-to-back, I can’t help but feel each movie would’ve benefitted if they were trimmed by about 30 minutes in each one. And a lot of that is the Peter Jackson fanfiction/”HEY REMEMBER LORD OF THE RINGS!?” And that is where I’ll start with my gripes.
They are quite honestly the weakest parts of the movie and also the most… awkward. I don’t want to say forced as they fit into the flow of the film, but they’re just a bit off. And they really don’t effect the movie much more than “in 60 years we’re going to have everything that happens in Lord of the Rings” or “can’t have movie without love story”. These were the moments I audibly groaned and got a nice “Shut the fuck up” from my buddy, then he audibly groaned during another.
The opening bugs me. It should’ve been the end to the second film. I can’t think of any reason why it wasn’t.
Character scaling is all over the place. There are a few scenes where Dwarves go from almost on par with the elves to way shorter. Looking big orcs in the eyes to staring at their belly buttons (assuming orcs have them).
48 frames per second really gives me a headache during some of the big CG pans. It loses definition and you basically get motion blur.
And it never quite got to my feelings. No feels.
It really suffers from a lack of Bilbo and overstuffing of “LOOK AT WHAT WE CAN DO WITH COMPUTERS!”
But its good. Go see it, for no other reason than you’ve probably seen the other two. Or if you want 2 hours of well choreographed/computered action.