The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Review

Well, it is finally over. I remember seeing the first teaser for the very first time, and feeling overwhelmed. I loved the original Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and while The Hobbit Trilogy is not nearly as good, it does have some great moments. I see reviews on this final installment somewhat mixed, and I can not help but wonder why. There are several missteps in this film, but it definitely delivers a great sendoff to the series.
I Will Have War
Starting off with everything that the film got right, the battle was quite impressive. It was not as impressive as the battle of Helm’s Deep, or Minas Tirith, but it was still very exciting. Most characters got their moment to shine, which was very rewarding. The special effects were slightly better in this installment, but there were still a handful of parts where it looked too much like a video game. One complaint I heard from other reviewers is that there is too much CGI. I thought there was a good amount. It did not feel like an unnecessary amount, especially for what Jackson and his crew were hoping to achieve. The pacing in the film is also excellent. The first Hobbit film felt far too slow for most people, while the second had some slow moments mixed with faster ones. This one felt like a nonstop ride from beginning to end, and it does not hurt that it is the shortest of the three films. I had read The Hobbit many years ago, so I knew what was to come in this final film. Thankfully, even with all the changes that Jackson made, he was able to capture the spirit of the book. All the emotional scene really resonated, and by the end of the film I did not want it to end. One last note, I saw the film in IMAX 48 Frames Per Second 3D. I did not enjoy the 48 FPS in the first two Hobbit films; However, I thought it worked well in this one and would highly recommend people to see it in this format.
You are only quite a little fellow in a wide world, after all
Now, with all the film gets right, there are a few missteps. I already mentioned the mixed bag of CGI, another problem is paralleling characters from The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings. The parallels, most notably with Thorin and the gold, are just a bit too heavy handed. It felt like Peter Jackson was just trying far too much to tie everything into The Lord of the Rings. I did not have a problem with connecting the plot, but I found it unnecessary to parallel certain characters. Another problem is attached to several battle scenes. Jackson tried to add tension to the action, by making characters pause for a long dramatic kill which looked more comical than dramatic. Several Orcs just kept coming back and could not be killed.
Closing Remarks
For better or worse, Jackson has accomplished what he set out to achieve. He wanted to tie in The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings, and he did a good job (for the most part). When people look back at this trilogy, they will remember the great acting, great effects, beautiful score, fantastic filming, and most importantly: that it was great fun. I will miss the feeling of going to the movies to see a film set in Middle Earth, but at the very least it ended on a high note.


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