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25 Dec 2014

Ending With a Thud: The Final 'Hobbit' Film Is Yet Another Boring Dud

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A scene from The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. A scene from The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

And with The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, the Hobbit movies mercifully come to an end.

No more stretching a one-hour story into three overly long films. No more Orlando Bloom making love to his stupid face with his own voice.

The third, much-unneeded chapter in Peter Jackson’s ill-begotten treatment of J.R.R. Tolkien’s wonderful novel is less an event than it is a final cash grab. If you must see it, don’t waste your money on high-frame-rate or IMAX options, because the result is a visual disaster. I stand by my guns: HFF technology is fine for the home theater, but it sucks balls on the big screen.

Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) is reduced to a supporting role (in a film named after his character!) after the dragon Smaug is slain. Five armies—including dwarves, orcs, elves and … uh, who gives a shit—start battling over the riches Smaug gathered, with a glowing stone being the final prize. Thorin (Richard Armitage), a dwarf leader, gets “dragon sickness,” and things get dumber from there.

It all amounts to a big nothing, with the charms that were present in Jackson’s masterful Lord of the Rings trilogy lost in a sea of special effects and terrible, terrible acting.

A few years back, I was championing Jackson’s efforts to get this made. When Guillermo del Toro bowed out as director, I saw it as a blessing, because Jackson would inevitably take over.

Boy, was I wrong.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is playing at theaters across the valley.

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