Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins

Reel Reviews: The Hobbit returns to his hole one last time in Battle of the Five Armies

No more Hobbits, rings, Orcs, Dwarves, wizards and elves (except for the one on the shelf).

  • Dec. 26, 2014 5:00 a.m.

After slaying the dragon Smaug and regaining the uncountable treasure of the Lonely Mountain, the Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), have to defend it against armies of Elves, Orcs and men, who all want to claim at least some of the treasure as their own.

We say, “What we say doesn’t matter, if Middle Earth is your thing, you’re going anyway.”

TAYLOR: Hooray, it’s finally over! No more Hobbits, rings, Orcs, Dwarves, wizards and elves (except, I guess, for the one on the shelf). I wonder what Peter Jackson is going to do now? He’ll have to stop making the same movie over and over again. I’m not a fan, never was, to be honest. I’m not sure why. Star Wars and Star Trek, two equally rich fantasy worlds full of weird and wonderful characters, places and situations continue to interest and entertain me, yet the people and deeds of Middle Earth bore me to no end. However, let’s just talk about the quality of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies because, although concluding well the stretched out trilogy, it’s still quite like watching a 144-minute video game.

HOWE: Ouch Mr. Taylor! Even though I wasn’t that impressed with either the first or second part of The Hobbit, this one took me a bit by surprise. I found the first two very childish and sometimes wished that Jackson hadn’t made them so long and drawn out.

I was expecting a similar theme this time out, plus a bit of a watered-down final battle, stolen from The Lord of the Rings. What I got was full-blown, beautiful battle scenes of which, I am sure, Mr. Tolkien would be proud.

TAYLOR: The battle was a little more serious and intense than in the previous two Hobbit films. There were only two ridiculous stunts that made me laugh, rather than a whole sequence. Other than my being disinterested the entire time and the film looking horribly fake much of the time, the experience of putting this baby to bed was almost satisfactory. That’s it for my tirade of hate.

HOWE: There were things that I hated, mostly the way over-the-top acting from Richard “Look how loud and annoyingly I can shout” Armitage. But I was also bothered by the use of Legolas (Orlando Bloom), even though his character isn’t in the book at all. I’d like to know how come everyone looks years older than they did when we first met them, even though its meant to be 100 years earlier?

TAYLOR: Between 2001, when the first Lord of the Rings movie came out and now, we and they have travelled light years. Such concerns are not relevant to this fantasy, but do explain part of why we’re less impressed by it.

Howe gives The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 3.5 battle pigs out of 5.

– Taylor gives it 2.5  Flores Men out of 5.

Peter Howe and Brian Taylor are film reviewers based in Vernon, B.C. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears in The Morning Star Friday and Sunday.