The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies

From the very moment it was announced that The Hobbit would be a trilogy, alarm bells should have been ringing. What’s more, it is now apparent that the hoo-ha surrounding the film’s production was more than some small technical issues, there were fundamental problems with the whole Hobbit creative process.

I really don’t know where to start, only that I would compare Peter Jackson’s effort to George Lucas’s risible Star Wars prequels. Both are devoid of emotion and originality, both rely on an audience who are in love with the original set of films, and perhaps most importantly; both have been corrupted by the world of CGI. The Hobbits have grown steadily worse with every minute of every film, nearly 9 hours of cinema which hyperventilates content clumsily, begging the question how can the man who made arguably the greatest fantasy trilogy of all time, so royally cock up source material he obviously adores?

Well one obvious issue is character development, if there is anyone out there who can honestly say that they can identify each of the dwarves and what they stand for then good for you. Over three films of one book, Jackson should have been able to get his audience rooting for the awfully uninspiring posse that are the dwarves. Take LOTR for example, anyone who has seen the films can name all the characters and feels that they know each one’s motivations and tropes, the original trilogy is a masterclass in fitting a lot of jargon and content into a relatively small amount of time. The only character I have ever liked in this Hobbit series has been Bilbo, Martin Freeman is brilliant, but I feel his character has been a passenger throughout the last two films; forced out by the irritating Thorin who is probably the most uncharismatic dwarf king ever.

But this is a mere footnote when compared to how irritating the endless cheesy nods to LOTR have been. Legolas for one has proved a mistake, as well as the cheeky winks about characters in the original films – Aragon should not have been mentioned! All of this in the strained effort to create humour: camp dwarves, aren’t funny! Cowardly men dressed up as women, aren’t funny! When LOTR was being funny it was effortless, it was to do with character chemistry and the occasional one-liner, not like the crude, child-like crap that the Hobbits have spewed.

To be fair there have been some good moments, the scene with Gollum was a highlight and there were moments in the battle of the five armies (I counted 3 armies) that made me smile, but overall nothing has appeased the disappointment. The Hobbit trilogy is a shabby mess that looks like it could have been made by a Marvel hack or even Michael Bay. After this third one I sincerely hope they never revisit Middle-Earth again, please Peter Jackson do something else.

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Ben Sayer

I love Beer and Film. That's all you need to know.