The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) – Film Review

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The Battle of the Five Armies is over… the begging for no more Tolkien related films is about to begin.

The Hobbit, a film everyone wanted, a trilogy that was not needed. What is wrong with the final instalment is arguably how the first two were not their own films, but only served as Act One and Two in The Hobbit Trilogy.
The third film is the climax, if the name hadn’t given it away. However, the build up has been with us for a year and to be thrown straight into the action isn’t always a good think. The team behind The Lord of the Rings have been known to craft splendid action sequences, what failed with The Hobbit is the over reliance on computers and abandonment of flesh and ‘bigitures’. Looking at the nameless soldiers faces, even Billy Connolly‘s Dain, and comparing the resemblance to the characters from Shrek is distracting.
That combined with the “comedic” sequences and lack of gore made the final climatic battle feel like that in the latest Narnia films, if anyone remembers they existed; no fear, no anger, no passion. Poor motives and underdeveloped characters in Thranduil, Thorin and almost a cameo appearance of Azog were a waste; Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen‘s performances felt somewhat wasted as well.
For the kids and those unfamiliar with Middle Earth may appreciate this film. But there’s not enough depth, emotion, violence, nor horror to make this a classic like it’s older, and bigger, brother.
It may not be wholly bad, but for those that love The Lord of the Rings it’s a tough pill to swallow and the wave of disappointment is wholly warranted.
Unsatisfying and lack of realistic awe, a film shouldn’t be based on it’s predecessors entirely, but The Hobbit really should take more advice from The Lord of the Rings for it’s absence of realistic grit in favour of comic violence is what destroyed this overdue, and over expanded trilogy.

Verdict – 5/10 – Ironically Bilbo summarised it perfectly in 2001 – “like butter scraped over too much bread

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