The final chapter to be told of middle earth, what a grand spectacle it would be…..Right? The first hobbit (An Unexpected Journey) was slow and seemed like a simple money maker with no real significant story to be told. The second hobbit (The Desolation of Smaug) was exciting and adventurous with a great protagonist. While we did not rave about An Unexpected Journey, the least we could say was that it was solid film making with limited material. The Desolation of Smaug ended with a cliffhanger making you devastated that you had to wait a year to see the conclusion. How would Peter Jackson capitalize, would it be as great as how he connected The Fellowship of the Rings to The Two Towers?
The movie begins with Smaug, flying down to destroy Lake-town. The introduction to this movie, with the dragon as the center, is an exciting start with good material to work with. While Jackson did not capitalize fully on what could have been an epic intro, the final chapter was off to a good start. The rest of the movie stalls and ditches the adventurous theme surrounding the whole story of this middle-earth world. The dwarfs, and Jackson, stumble into the mountain filled with gold and can’t quite seem to focus on anything else. There is an attempt of a character study on Thorin, the king of the Dwarfs. This study comes off as uninteresting and hilariously corny at times. We found ourselves laughing at many of the scenes focusing on this king of the Dwarfs. Richard Armitrage (Thorin), we do not believe the blame is to be put on him. Similar to the rest of the film, over directing cripples these scenes and does not do justice for the actors and writers. But to the writers, obviously Tokein is a fine writer and story-teller. With that said, the Hobbit does not have the same interesting characters that The Lord of the Rings had to work with. The Dwarfs were bland and Martin Freeman (Biblo) had to carry all of them in their loaded amount of screen time together. Back to the plot, it felt like not much happened during this movie. There was Smaug to start the movie and then there was everything around the mountain. Armies came and they fought and we will all soon forget.
Final Thoughts: We were shocked at the amateurism of Peter Jackson. He had such a great grasp on this whole story during the first five films (The 3 Lord of the Rings especially). The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies was over-directed and frankly a poorly made movie. The source material was limited but could have made for a fine film. Corny scenes involving the eye and Thorin falling through a golden floor, in his mind, are shocking when you think of the heights this franchise has hit. This is a movie to shut your brain off to and try to enjoy the action if you can forgive the poor directing of the movie.