For Reel

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
January 4, 2015, 8:45 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Peter Jackson
3.5 Stars
The Hobbit The Battle of the Five ArmiesPeter Jackson’s latest Tolkien trilogy is pure, unabashed fan-service in that it might be directed by the most obsessive of all Tolkien fans. The earnestness in which he presented nearly nine hours of dwarves and a hobbit being persistently captured whilst spouting the same familiar lines like, “They were bred for a single purpose–for war!” is admirable. Yet, while The Lord of the Rings trilogy had surprising crossover appeal, The Hobbit trilogy seems alienating on every level–too obsessive and drawn-out for the casual audience, too destructive to the source material for the diehard Tolkien fans. The Battle of the Five Armies is the closest the new trilogy has come to recapturing some of the magic of the Fellowship’s adventures. While the action scenes are undoubtedly too long–Jackson cuts between three or four battles that would be the climactic stand off in any other film–they’re at least imaginatively choreographed, particularly the long-awaited duel between Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and the brutish orc Azog. Martin Freeman is underutilized but continues his excellent work as Bilbo, and the pacing issues aren’t as egregious as they were in the previous installments.

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