Bilbo and the dwarves have woken the dragon, and Smaug awake is something you don’t want to encounter. As the film begins he is busy destroying Laketown and burning its inhabitants. But it isn’t only a dragon you need to worry about, for the Necromancer is building power and about to unleash an army upon the Lonely Mountain. And then there is Thranduil who wants his family heirlooms back.

When the title of the film is “battle of the five armies” you’ve got to be expecting an epic battle right?

Unfortunately, there was too much battle and not enough story. I really loved the first film when I saw it. I might not have loved it as much on rewatches, but I still enjoy it. And the second was, I think, better. But unfortunately with this film all the padding to the story just overwhelmed it. It should never have been made into three long movies. Either one epic, or two shorter films would have been more than enough. This just felt slow, and ((though I hate to say it)) boring in parts. For the first time ever at a Middle Earth film I felt myself wondering when it’d end.

Gotta say I’m disappointed.

It isn’t all bad though; there are some wonderful moments in it. But there is just too much that is unnecessary and pointless. And the slow motion scenes that seemed to litter the movie? Thorin’s slow-motion “feel my pain” speech. Nope. Did not work for me.

Also they must have cast Bard’s youngest daughter on her piercing scream, cause yeah, that was all I though she was in it for. And the older one was just there to shout “Da! Da!” at least the son got a bit of action, but can’t have the girls picking up a sword and using it at all. And why did Tauriel need to be rescued, not once, but twice by male figures. I mean, sort of undercuts her role as an ass-kicking warrior doesn’t it?

Battle of the five armies felt like lazy, indulgent film-making to me. There was far too much stuff just thrown out there because it looked cool, and not because it served the story or developed the characters.

And isn’t the name of the film The Hobbit? which would sort of support the fact that Bilbo was the hero of the story, yet how much screen time did he get?

And what did we get instead? The likes of Alfrid? Ugh, no. Take it away.

So all in all it is a disappointing end to Jackson’s Tolkien stories. I’d love to see it edited down to just one film. It couldn’t have been great, instead it is just a sort of soggy mess. Which I’m sure I will watch again, because it is still fun, and you know, Middle Earth and all that. It’s just it could have been so much better. It should have been!

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