Monday, December 22, 2014

Movie Review: The Hobbit - The Battle of the Five Armies

Yesterday, my son and I went to watch the final Hobbit movie on the big screen.  We'd recently watched all of the LotR trilogy on DVD, and although he hadn't seen parts 1 and 2 of the Hobbit, he really wanted to go, so off we went.

Now, I enjoyed the first two installments while watching them, but on reflection found them tedious, drawn out, and full of sound and fury signifying nothing for a large part of them.  But then it's Peter Jackson's (and Weta Workshop's) vision of New Zealand-turned-Middle Earth, which is worth sitting through just for the amazing cinematography, IMO.  Anyway, I wasn't exactly anticipating the final chapter, but I knew I couldn't miss it either.  I'm that sort of completionist nerd.

And before we get to the interview proper, as always the title of the blog brings people wondering about swear (curse) words in films any time I do a review.  Here it is: Dain, Lord of the Iron Hills (Billy Connoly) has a few mild swears.  My son's favorite swear being "bastard," when Dain uttered it, he turns to me and laughs, "Did he just say 'bastard'?  Ahahaha!"  That's it.  And if you know Billy Connoly, you'll know that's pretty mild for him.

Now, what did I think of The Hobbit Pt. 3?  Well, as usual it was visually stunning in some parts, but the vast majority of the film happens on Erebor (The Lonely Mountain) which to be honest, looks really cool from far away but isn't that interesting up close. 

The story was more focused (mostly the eponymous battle, plus a short bit where the White Council confronts the Necromancer at Dol Guldur which was surprisingly brief considering the bloat in the first two films).  But that doens't mean it was necessarily better.  For some reason, the movie felt a bit underwhelming.  Where the first two were going out of their way to diverge from the book to "pump up the action" this one felt subdued in a sense.  There's some over-the-top action in it, but it wasn't quite as heart-stopping as some of the action scenes in the first two installments. 

Maybe I need to sleep on it a bit more to pin it down (thanks to the baby, I didnt' get much sleep last night).  Something seemed off about the movie, though.  It still had the PJ touches you'd expect (crazy decapitations - watch for Thranduil on his elk for a good example; modern cliches being mouthed by Middle Earth residents: "think of the children!" in this case; gratuitous fights with a video game feel to them).

Anyway, it was thankfully only a bit over two hours long, rather than three.  And it was Middle Earth on film.  If you enjoyed the other Hobbit movies, don't let this disuade you.  It's alright.  It just lacks the emotional oomph that The Return of the King had.  It's a weak climax to an overdone film series, but it's not completely terrible, either.  If you're on the fence about seeing it, though, I'd say you may want to wait for a cheaper option than a full ticket price.

1 comment:

  1. I can only justify the orc loss in D&D terms; the good guys had more EXP and better equipment! Most of the scenes meant to be poignant or funny bombed. Visually, only the Mirkwood and Laketown bits seemed fresh.