And so our visit to Middle Earth ends. With a bang? Sure. With… MoreAnd so our visit to Middle Earth ends. With a bang? Sure. With disappointment? I fear so.
The first two parts of Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy already got complaints similar to the Star Wars prequels, the final installment will probably be no exception. The difference being: the last chapter of Bilbo's story actually deserves quite some of the criticism.
It starts with the way the films were split in two. That throws us in medias res in Smaug's attack on Lake Town but also makes it hard to get into the story at first. It probably works much better when watching it back to back, but after a break of a year you'll have a hard time being as blown away by the dragon fire as you were last Christmas.
After that, the film wastes little time and takes big steps towards the big showdown of the five armies. The major battle ultimately delivers great action in cool locations, but the initial conflict seems so forced that the stakes never feel as big as they did when the King returned. It doesn't help that there are major plot holes, characters and creatures appearing and disappearing at random or changing locations. It all just feels so much more artificial than it used to in the first trilogy.
Of course some of the fights are awesome and the effects are great, it all just fails to deliver the emotional punches that made the last finale so engaging and moving.
Of course, that is a personal opinion and entirely depends on how much you care about certain dwarves' fates, but fact is: there is not enough Hobbit in The Hobbit.
Freeman's scenes always work, he's also responsible for the most moving parts of the showdown aftermath. Before that, Tolkien purists will find plenty of cringe-worthy Legolas stunts, more jump & run sequences and a character that is entirely made of CGI for no reason whatsoever.
Why the pretty good rating then, you ask? Because it's Middle Earth. The last minutes of goodbye to the series are really well executed, every thread of connection to the Lord of The Rings, even if it's just hints in Shore's score, sends shivers down your spine.
It's a bittersweet ending, considering it all ends here and probably could have been a so much more compelling and moving finale. The visuals, the production design, the cinematography are top notch, the action really huge and fun when it's not bordering hilarity.
I just expected a little more. Or was it less?
Probably takes some liberties in telling a true news story from the… MoreProbably takes some liberties in telling a true news story from the 80s, but does it with such a charm and big heart that you can't help but like the result. Of course that's somewhat predictable, but the decent cast and lovable message make it work. They didn't make films like that for a while, but sometimes this is exactly what you need on a dark winter afternoon. Kids will love it, for sure.