Jean-Paul’s Rating: 2/5 stars
Bottom Line: Yay, I never have to watch another Hobbit movie again!
This marks my first review of an entire trilogy. First, there was “An Unexpected Journey” which was middling but left me with hope. Then came “The Desolation of Smaug” which was almost completely filler with some added confusing “Lord of the Rings” back story thrown in. Now, at long last, we are at the end of our grueling journey with “Battle of the Five Armies”. Thank the Valar!
I’m just going to say it: I hate Legolas. How much do I hate Legolas? Let’s just say that I find Jar Jar Binks to be a better useless addition to a movie. Every scene he’s in he’s all like “Look at me! I am Legolas! I am here solely as a familiar face for the rubes to recognize because our lazy director didn’t bother to create any memorable characters that are unique to this trilogy.” What? Don’t believe me? Name me more that two of the dwarves. See? I only can because I read the book. Legolas is lazy storytelling at its worst. But that’s what you get when you try squeezing every penny out of a franchise that has already made billions. I can’t wait for the fan released “Hobbit” remix with all of Legolas’ parts removed. Never again do I want to see his false gravitas or his idiotic action sequences.
Besides the lazy storytelling, the movie is middling. As with the first of the trilogy, there’s nothing really awe-inspiring or memorable, but it does an ok job of finishing off the story. There is a lot of stuff that can be confusing if you don’t remember some of the events of the completely forgettable “The Desolation of Smaug”. I couldn’t for the life of me remember why Gandalf was sitting captured in a cage or why he went there in the first place. I’m sure it was some sort of foreshadowing to events in “The Lord of the Rings”, but it fell so flat, it was like a penny left on the railroad tracks.
As for the eponymous battle itself? All style, no substance. I know next to zero about battle tactics and I was able to point out a myriad of flaws in strategy. Yes, artistic license should be allowed, but a battle should be somewhat grounded in reality as well. The battle had no sense of scope and felt like it was planned by kindergardeners playing with toy soldiers. For instance, why didn’t the orcs just burrow into the the mountain and allow them direct access to a completely unguarded dwarven kingdom rather than pouring out onto an open battlefield? You’d never see the Fremen use such poor tactics when riding Shai-Hulud into battle. Plus, how were the orcs able to control the burrowing worms to begin with? Plus, why would the orcs attack a completely useless and undefended town instead of pouring their forces against the actual armies that they greatly outnumber and have the advantage of higher ground against.
What pissed me off the most is when Tharanduil gives his ever-watchful archers the order to shoot anything that stirs in the dwarven fortress only to have the very next scene show Bilbo very clumsily escaping the fortress by climbing down the front barricade and trotting up to the town. I mean how lazy can you get as a dirctor? All you had to do is swap the scenes and things would make some sense. But nooooooo!
Ok, I’m done complaining. If you ever find yourself in a mood to sit down and watch a trilogy and think to yourself, “Oh, I should watch ‘The Hobbit'”, please have someone slap you in the face and scream, “What are you thinking, man!?”. Maybe that will make you come to your senses and allow you to watch a good trilogy like “The Lord of the Rings”. Now let us never speak of “The Hobbit” trilogy again.