The final chapter of The Hobbit trilogy is the best. Where the first one was goofy, the second one way too long, the third finally captures the emotional resonance and blood-pumping battles of the LOTR series. Say what you will about Peter Jackson, but he does a great battle scene. It is also worth noting that Five Armies is the shortest movie of all six films (clocking in at about two and a half hours), so the action moves at a much crisper clip compared to the others. Jackson aptly divides the audience’s attention between dwarves, elves, and men, so you get a good sense of what everyone wants and feel for them. Maybe Peter Jackson realized that it is ok to cut. I wish he would have taken that cutting a bit further and just cut out the elf/dwarf love story. It’s not like I object to the addition of a love story (that’s a lie, I object, but I understand), but it’s such a lazy story. There is no reason for their attraction beyond physical appearance. Bad.
The first two Hobbit movies did not have much at stake, which is why I felt they fell short of the LOTR. There was no real clear enemy, except the Pale Orc and obscure Necromancer (who is clearly Sauron), and lots of people took issue with that because that plot line wasn’t in the book. However, if ol’ Pete hadn’t added that, there would literally be no villain except for a dragon we don’t see for a movie and a half. Why didn’t Jackson make just one movie? Good question. It could have been two movies, honestly: combine the first two and leave the Five Armies as is. It feels like the first two movies were made just so we could get to the Five Armies.
A big reason I liked Five Armies so much is that I was able to laugh at the silly situations while still being in awe of the epic themes and possibly trying not to cry when Martin Freeman cries. One such silly situation is during a fight between Legolas and an orc, Legolas runs up a flight of falling stairs in what I can only pray was an homage to Link from the Zelda series.
Is it just me or is Smaug a lot scarier in this one? Like how he looks? Maybe it was the 3D. His part is small, but significant as the presence of “dragon sickness” looms over the dwarf company.
Luke Evans is a really good Bard. Though it was hard to not yell “Dracul!” every time he comes on screen. Because he played Dracula in “Dracula Untold.”
My girl Galadriel totally kills it. Best Galadriel scene in all six movies.