This review was going to be an objective account of The Hobbit:
The Battle of the Five Armies, but it can’t be. Not when it broke my spirit
at roughly the one-hour mark, when Smaug had long been slain and Thorin
Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), who mostly lived in the background in the first
two parts of this travesty/trilogy, became consumed with greed in the most
hackneyed way possible. Even Gollum had motivations other than the ecstasy of
The Battle of the 144 Minutes I’ll Never Get Back became the
epitome of everything shitty about the 2014 movie year. In no particular order
it represents: the uninspired miles of endless sequels of many uninspired
franchises; splitting books into multiple parts that have no reason being split
into multiple parts (an ongoing problem); despite having a gargantuan running
time, having no grasp of character development beyond the screenplay’s creaky
demands; the idea that we should welcome this crap because it’s based on books
or other media we love; a movie that has the same battle scenes as at least one
of its predecessors.
Not even Bilbo (Martin Freeman, a supporting player here) or Billy
Connolly, who pops up all too briefly, or Benedict Cumberbatch, can save The
Battle for My Sanity.
But you—YOU!—can save movies. Demand that all comic book or fantasy
or sci-fi adaptations be as good as Guardians of the Galaxy. Demand
reasonable running times. Demand a screenplay that tells its own story and
doesn’t lazily live off the goodwill of what came before it. Withhold your
dough if the movies don’t get these things right. Star Wars is coming in
2015—do we really want to go through all this tumult again?
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
Directed by Peter Jackson
With Freeman, Armitage and Luke Evans
Regal Stadium 14
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