Director: Peter Jackson
Writers: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro, J.R.R. Tolkien
Production Companies: New Line Cinema, MGM, WingNut Films, 3Foot7
Stars: Martin Freeman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Luke Evans
Genre: Adventure / Fantasy
What It’s About: The final installment in The Hobbit trilogy. We pick up after The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
How I Watched It: Alone in the theater. Evening.
Thoughts: Okay. So…be forewarned that I’m slightly biased since I’ve read the book. That being said, there will be a few SPOILERS about the initial setup. Alright, so we leave the last film with Smaug (Cumberbatch) leaving the mountain and heading for Lake-town. He goes on a major rampage in the town as people scatter for their lives. Lucky for the townspeople, Bard (Evans) is determined to do his best to save the town. Bard the bowman takes his place atop the highest tower and starts shooting arrows at the dragon. SPOILER: he defeats Smaug with the black arrow right in the weak spot in his armor.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this scene was badass. I’m still so amazed by the CGI awesomeness they accomplished with Smaug. My only problem: IT’S OVER SO QUICKLY! The Lake-town battle seriously takes up about 20 minutes of the entire 244 minute run-time. Sad Teri is sad.
After this, the people of Lake-town head to the mountain to claim their stake of the gold in the mountain. What they don’t know, is that several other armies have the same idea.
Annnnnnnd then we proceed to watch over two hours worth of battle scenes. This is what I have the hardest time with. In the book, the battle at the mountain really isn’t that extensive. Also, the armies that come to fight total maybe in the single-digit thousands. I understand having the capability to multiple masses of elves or dwarves or orcs with the click of a mouse–I get it. It looks cool, and it makes the battles much more epic. But….but….this just gets plain ridiculous. **Super-biased. Sorry**
Aside from the *cough* ridiculous *cough* battles in this film, the other glaring issue to me….is that the film doesn’t really seem to go anywhere. Maybe this is because there really isn’t much plot in this movie. I guess that’s something that you risk when you split a 300-some page book into three epic films. Not that I’m complaining about getting to see more of Peter Jackson’s epic on-screen battles (definitely not complaining about that), I just wish the plot had a little more meat on it’s bones.
Visually, this movie’s stunning. Great effects all around. Some of the CGI effects may have taken me out of it every once in a while, but overall they seemed to blend well. One of my favorite additions to this movie was Billy Connolly as Dain, the cousin Dwarf of Thorin. He’s hardly recognizable, but that voice is unmistakable.
As far as the acting goes in this film, I think Lee Pace’s portrayal of Thranduil is my favorite. He comes off as such an ass in this trilogy, which must have been an acting/directing choice, because I don’t think he was that outspoken in the book. He cracks me up.
I can’t believe I’m gonna give this rating to a film in the LOTR universe, but…..
My Rating: Meh.
I saw someone call this film the Phantom Menace of the LOTR movies….and I kind of have to agree with them. I still love it because it’s a new epic by Peter Jackson, but it really failed to compare to the others for me.
Where Can I Watch It?: Well, unless you catch a really late screening of it on the theater circuit, there’s not anywhere legally that you can find it. It looks like the ETA of the video release is sometime in April 2015.