Review: The Hobbit – The Battle Of The Five Armies
Finally got to watch the final Part of Peter Jacksons THE HOBBIT Trilogy. Read a few Reviews beforehand and was pretty sure the whole Movie was going to suck. At least that was the Impression I got from my Press Coleagues. Now, saw the whole Thing in 3D HFR and was pretty surprised because I totally liked it. Most of them criticized that it focusses too much on the Fight-Scenes and that´s an Accusation that is totally justified. Nonetheless, it´s a pretty solid Movie.
The Plot is pretty much hollow and there isn´t a whole lot of Storytelling going on. Since Peter Jackson bloated the tiny Novel up to three Overtime Movies, there wasn´t that much story left to tell anyway. Tolkiens Book was a neat Childs Book with some Dark Passages and didn´t have anything to do with Epical Battles between Orcs, Dwarves, Elbs and Humans. So everyone who watches THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES should know that this is so not like THE LORD OF THE RINGS in regards to the Storytelling. At the Time when THE HOBBIT was written, large Parts of the Universe weren´t created yet so Peter Jackson and his Consultants (like Guillermo Del Torro) had to pull a whole lot of Content out of their Hat to make this a Trilogy. I totally agree that the whole THE HOBBIT Project would have worked a whole lot better as a Two-Parter but the Problem of the whole Series is not the third Part. I remember when I left the Theatre after having watched Part 2 and I was really disappointed. This Time, I felt similar to how I felt after the first Part. The Movie is emotionally moving and though the Battle Scenes are in the Focus, you don´t feel like you´re in the middle of some three-hour Videogame. Like it was the Case in the Second Movie. In Part II, I felt like I would suffer an epileptic Seizure while having Shot little white dots in my Retina from the 3D. I especially felt like the Scenes with Legolas and the female Elves were so over the Top that the whole Thing lost all contact to Reality and that was NOT the case in this third Movie. There certainly were many Scenes that were unrealistic, but if you accept the Thought that there is this World where Elves can move faster and jump around like Super Mario while shooting 10 Arrows in 5 Seconds,you can watch this Part without feeling like “this is just too much”.
In the second Part, i really hated the unnecessary Love Story between Kiri & Tauriel and i was really glad they put this Element a whole lot more in the background and concentrated more on the other Plotlines. A Problem that the Movie has is the lack of lovable Characters and at the Point when Thorin loses his Mind for a while, the Viewer ends up without any likeable Protagonists. Yes, there are Gandalf and Bilbo, but overall, the Fact that everyone seems to be willing to kill each other over a Fortress of Gold isn´t that noble of a Cause and you just don´t really feel like you felt when watching LOTRs. In particular, the Dwarves have a real Publicity Problem because i just can´t bond so much with these chaotic Characters, though some of them are really friendly. Thorin is pretty much the strongest Character and when he started to talk smack all the time, you just don´t care about the whole Group. Nonetheless, the Movie makes a very impressive U-Turn towards the End and closes with such a Strong Finale that i really enjoyed it as a dignified Ending for a Decent Trilogy! THE HOBBIT is not a classic like THE LORD OF THE RINGS, but it is a very impressive and beautiful Fairy tale about a World far far away from us.
I particularly felt like this Movie is made for 3D and I can only urge everyone to spend the Monies and watch this One in the Theatre. Don´t wait for the Release on Blu-Ray, DVD or Instant Video, because it probably won´t be half as good as in the theatre.
The closing Credits were a true Piece of Art and some of the 3D Effects were outstanding. There are Scenes when it´s snowing and the whole Cinema was kinda trying to wipe of the Snow in front of their Eyes because it looked so real. Was watching it in HFR (Higher Frame Rate) and didn´t really feel like it´s necessary. I am sure the Movie would have looked as good in normal 3D, because the HFR Effects kinda takes away some of the Magic that you have when watching a Movie that was shot on an expensive Film Material. To me, The HFR makes a Movie look like a Soap Opera on TV, but it´s possible that I am just not really used to this Tech because i am not really into the whole HD/4K/ETC Movement.
The Fight Scenes were really good and everything technical about this Movie was outstanding. The Soundtrack from Howard Shore was once again extremely beautiful and in no one inferior to the work of other great Composers like Hans Zimmer. I enjoy his work very much and it´s great how he played with the whole Themes from THE HOBBT and LORD OF THE RINGS. The strong Sound Effects are a great Add-On to the complete Works of THE HOBBIT.
The Finale is the strongest Part about THE BATTLE OF FIVE ARMIES and i was particularly happy that they added some Drama to the whole Story. It would have been totally unrealistic if they had a large Battle like the One in the Title without People dying. And i can promise you that not all of the Characters will survive. Again, in my Eyes a good Thing!
I felt like there were many Scenes that didn´t make it in the theatrical Version so I am really looking forward to the Special Edition Releases. It´s sad that it´s become common practice to release shortened Versions so you can put some Deleted Scenes in the Special Editions but I guess there is a huge Market for these Extended Editions so this won´t change so soon.
Ok, I am getting to the End now and just like I felt after leaving the Theatre, it´s a bit sad that this will finally be the End of Peter Jacksons Tolkien Movies. From what I heard earlier this Week, there are Disputes between the Tolkien Estate and the Production Companies over the commercialization of J.R.R. Tolkiens Books in the Screen Adaptions, so chances are they will not allow another Jackson Movie. Peter Jackson would absolutely love to make more Movies that play into the Tolkien-Universe, but for now, he will probably return to make “smaller Movies” again, which is a small Victory too if you ask me. I so loved his early Work and i can´t wait to see him making original Movies again.
So, let´s say that THE BATTLE OF FIVE ARMIES is better than some critics have pictured it and i can wholeheartedly recommend it as a good Movie!
The Hobbit (The Battle of The Five Armies) - 80%