Here we are. The last movie. The worst of the whole trilogy and one of the most disappointing films I have ever seen.
During his attack on Laketown, the dragon Smaug is struck down by the hero Bard. Now, the Lonely Mountain is free of the beast’s tyranny again. But Bilbo and his friends can’t celebrate yet. The forces of the ruined Laketown, as well as the elves of Mirkwood, are marching on the mountain for a claim of the treasure, and Thorin is in no giving mood. A battle is brewing around the Lonely Mountain, and little Bilbo is trapped right in the middle of it.
This is where it really became clear that they were desperate to pad this story out. They took all of the scattered and confused plot lines that made a mess of the previous two movies and tried to bring them all together into one conclusion. Unfortunately, all of the elements blended together like oil and water.
Some of it is so poorly done and cheesy that you might think it’s a joke. Such as Legolas randomly deciding to talk about his mom, Thorin having a bro-moment with Dain, Legolas running up rocks that are falling at a different rate from gravity, or the girl-elf mourning Kili as the end of their ‘romance’. Now, I normally love a bit of cheese. But this movie takes itself so seriously that it becomes ironically funny at best and embarrassing at worst.
Because of this, the Battle of Five Armies itself becomes a complete mess. In the original book, the battle itself wasn’t important; in fact, Bilbo sat the whole thing out after a rock hit him in the head (which is a problem in the movie; gotta love a long-ass battle scene where the main character has ceased to exist). Even still, how the battle actually went down was pretty clear. It’s just that Tolkien didn’t focus on it because it wasn’t important; Bilbo was.
Now, it’s the opposite. Bilbo isn’t important (in a film trilogy called the HOBBIT), the battle is. So instead of focusing on the protagonist of the story, they focus on all the messy plots that don’t connect at all in the grand finale. What they were going for was a tying of the knot, a point where the whole plot came into one, much like the Lord of the Rings.
Unfortunately, this is not the Lord of the Rings. That story was designed to end that way.
Then, once the battle is over, we move on to the ending. This is where it really becomes a problem that these movies are ‘prequels’ to Lord of the Rings. Rather than ending on its own, satisfying note, it needs to end on a scene connecting it to the films everyone knows and loves. This leaves the actual ending to the story feeling incredibly unsatisfying, as if it’s nothing more than a side-note. It may as well end on a black screen with the text, “Go watch the original movies now, idiot!”
Which… you should just do. Because those are vastly superior films.
Presentation wise, this movie does not hold up. The CGI is overused and stands out like a sore thumb. Hell, I remember this shit looking bad back when I saw this movie in theaters! Unlike the Lord of the Rings, which had special effects that mostly still hold up, nothing in this movie looks all that good by modern standards.
But hey. The music is still good. Even if 90% of it is recycled from the LOTR. There was that one promotional song they did with Billy Boyd in-tandem with this movie that was really good! Sure, it’s not in the movie, but the song was good and Billy Boyd has a great singing voice!
I’m grasping at straws, okay? Leave me alone.
So that’s the Hobbit trilogy. I could go in-depth, nitpicking every little thing they messed up that ruined the story the original book told. But if I did that, we’d be here all day. We’ve all got more important things to do.
There’s a clear reason why these three movies aren’t held in the same regard as the Lord of the Rings movies. The quality gap between them is honestly frightening. Those movies are classics in every sense of the word. These movies were a rushed mess butchered by studio demands. It’s honestly just depressing.
Maybe I’ll finally get around to the classic animated Hobbit movie. That one should at least be entertaining.