Story by: Dean Crawford, Photos by:
Directed by Peter Jackson
Adventure / Fantasy
New Zealand / U.S. / U.K.
(Listen to GrooveCast host Chance Dorland & Dean Crawford discuss “The Hobbit” a on the podcast player below!)
Since the early 2000s, Christmas just hasn’t felt like Christmas without a trip to Middle Earth. I may not be the biggest fan of Peter Jackson’s more recent offerings, but I can’t argue with the fact that his movies are huge events and I love going to see them.
However, if you’ve read any of my previews for the previous “Hobbit” movies, you may have felt the apprehension seeping off the page; I just couldn’t see how Jackson could successfully adapt a tiny book like “The Hobbit” into three 180-minute movies. I found myself bored at times during “An Unexpected Journey” (2012) and even more so in “The Desolation of Smaug” (2013), but I fear this new film might be the final straw. By all accounts, the majority of the footage for “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” was intended for the first two films, but additional filming has taken place so the film can make extensive use of the Middle Earth appendices printed in the back of “The Return of the King.” Is that enough to make a film from scratch and satisfy millions of Tolkienites? I’m not so sure.
The website tells us that “The Battle of the Five Armies” brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and the Company of Dwarves. The Dwarves of Erebor have reclaimed the vast wealth of their homeland, but now must face the consequences of having unleashed the terrifying dragon Smaug upon the defenseless men, women and children of Lake-town.
While this synopsis sounds exciting enough, my problem is that, despite having watched six hours of “Hobbit” action, I can’t for the life of me remember what took place in which film; they all just blend into one.
Much like the “Lord of the Rings” series (2001-03), I feel like these films have consisted of five hours of walking with just one hour of exciting action. The dragon looked great, the underground train ride looked great and Gollum is amazing, but did the series really need to be so long? Here’s hoping Peter Jackson has saved the best for last.