REVIEW: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

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Kieran Sweeney

 

Grade: C

Peter Jackson concludes his middle-earth prequel series in a disappointing fashion.

After over adecade of production, Peter Jackson brings his final middle-earth chapter to the screen. The journey has been long and tiresome, much like the films themselves. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies stars Martin Freeman as the titular character, with the remainder of the cast returning from the previous Hobbit films.

After a rousing introduction, the fire of The Hobbit slowly dies (both literally and figuratively). The build up to the final battle is dull, plodding, and tries the patience of its audience. Even when the battle is going on, I found myself continuing to wonder, “Is it over yet?”.

Five Armies feels more like an epilogue than the chapter of an epic saga. The events of the first five minutes of this film could have been easily incorporated into last year’s Desolation of Smaug. Jackson, on the other hand, thought otherwise, insisting there was more story to tell. Unfortunately, his effort to create a climactic conclusion proved mediocre at best. The action sequences are cartoonish and cheesy, the dialogue is ridiculous, and the duration of the film is drawn out.

Although it drags, the film has a few minor redeeming qualities. For example, after about an hour of banter and brawl amongst the Dwarves, Elves, and Men, Thorin and company have a more organic battle with a few Orcs. This sequence, although buried deep within the film, is riveting and impressively directed.

Fans of the series will undoubtedly find some joy in Five Armies; however, the general public will have a hard time investing in the overlong – yet surprisingly short compared to the other films in the series – spectacle.

Grade: C