So this is how it ends, not with a bang, nor with a whimper, but with an extremely drawn-out bang that sounded like a whimper.
It has happened. Peter Jackson's overly bloated 10-hour epic based on a 150-page children's book (The Hobbit, doi!) tipped past the breaking point with the final picture in the trilogy. I am saddened. The Hobbit could have been a super fun 2.5 to 3-hour long single movie, or even a slightly longer 2 movie duology at say 2 hours each... But no, the first Hobbit flick was already close to 3 hours and only took us to about halfway through the tale. The second movie got ridiculously bloated and then cut out right before the big Bard/dragon battle, the one thing people REALLY wanted to see in it. That left us with just the last 10th of the small book being held over for this, the last Middle Earth movie (at least by Peter Jackson) ever. Bad planning all around on Jackson's part, especially in how he still made 15 pages in a children's book into a 2 and a goddamn half-hour long flick.
I was originally going to give The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies a slightly better rating than Desolation of Smaug, but then I had time to think about it and really digest everything that went on in it... Now I find it to be the weakest of the Hobbit movies. Desolation at least moved forward and had interesting stuff happen in it, even if they weren't in the original book. Five Armies though, it's NOTHING BUT BLOAT.
In the original tale, Thorin Oakenshield and his group of adventurers holds up in Erebor (aka the Lonely Mountain) with his people's lost riches, while Smaug goes on a rampage/smack-down on nearby Lake-town, and then the dragon-lord gets dispatched by ace archer (and apparently boatman), Bard. Then the remaining humans from the crispied Lake-town go to Thorin and say "Hey, remember when we helped you and you said that you'd thank us with gold once the dragon is slayed? Well, you fucked up, we got slaughtered, and we could really use your help now." Thorin then gives them the raspberry, along with the Mirkwood elves who soon come looking for jewels that they were promised long ago. Then the dwarf Dain and 500 heavily armed soldiers from the Iron Hills come to Thorin's aid, then just as those three forces are about to engage in a little battle royale, Gandalf pops up and warns everybody about the Misty Mountain goblins and Bolg's forces from the North coming to town with a shit-ton of Wargs. A strategic battle then occurs between the free folk and the goblin hordes, only to be finally settled by the Lord of the Eagles and his crew swooping in, as well as the badass Beorn turning all beary and smashing his way through the goblin lines like a giant, furry wrecking-ball of fangs and claws. Bilbo gets knocked the fuck out, then wakes up, is told Thorin died, then goes home with small treasure. The end. Something like 15 pages there.
This third Hobbit movie starts with the rapid destruction of Cumverpatcch's Smaug the giant worm (a real let down after seeing the tyrannical lizard's wrath get so wrathful at the end of the 2nd movie), and then.... And then we sit back for an hour while Thorin, the new King Under the Mountain, goes mad from Scrooge McDuck Fever, and refuses to help the poor humans from Lake-town. Things get even more drawn out when Gandalf, Galadriel, Agent Smith, and Christopher Lee put the smack down on Sauron's Dark Rider ghosts for a long game of "whack-a-mole" with swords and staffs before Galadriel almost makes out with Gandalf and then goes all Dark Queen on Sauron, banishing him to the South.
Then we get more politics as the Lake-townians get brushed away by Thorin, meet up with Ronan the Accuser and his elf army, and then they discuss sieges, gold, and possible Orc invasion... For A FUCKING HOUR. Honestly, I don't even know how much movie-time elapsed during this segment of the flick. A week? A month? Many months? We see Elf Kate and X-treme Legolas ride to the North mountains just to see an Orc army led by Bolg the Bulbous emerge from their Orcy stronghold, and then they race back to Erebor to warn people... But this would be at the very least a 4 week journey by horse for them.
Anyway, more dragging on occurs, and then Gandalf arrives to warn of Misty Mountain Orcs and Wargs coming, and then CGI Billy Connolly the Dwarf arrives, and then everybody fights, and then the Orcs start attacking the women and children of Lake-town because drama, and then more fighting, and then bats attack, and then more fighting, and then more mind-numbing fighting..... And then Thorin tries to take down Azog the Ugly Orc, and then he gets Kili and Fili killed, and then Elf Kate loses her shit over this, and then X-treme Legolas goes comic booky hilariously over-the-top insane as he flies giant bats and runs up the falling stones of crumbling bridges... And then more and more and more fighting between obvious CGI Orcs and obvious CGI Dwarves, Elves, and Human armies... And then Bilbo does very little, and then fuck. Things just end.
Oh, and you know how non-fans complain that the ending to RotK is too long?.... In the Hobbit 3 it's too short. It's BAM! Battle's done, Bilbo's back home. The end. And so many characters got no solid ending (Things like Sauruman's ending, the toady of Lake-town's closure, Bard's family's denouement, and the Mirkwood elves' resolution being so chopped off just left me with a really bad taste in my mouth). You just know that the Extended Edition of this movie will add over an hour of extra footage to it (like they all do), but unlike the LotR movies (which had lots of the important book elements removed from the theatrical versions of the movies due to time restraints, and were actually made even better by having them added back in for their extended releases), the Hobbit movies were already overloaded with stuff made up by Jackson to stretch these fuckers out to about 10 hours of storytelling. The fact that he couldn't reign in the screen time given to boring negotiations or the "Battle of the Five Armies" (which went on longer than most wars) in order to give this thing a proper ending just pisses me off.
My final word on this movie is that it makes me believe that Jackson is just the "Lord of the Bloat" now. So sad.
I am so disappointed. I loved the Lord of the Rings movies, but these Hobbit movies were just slow as molasses and twice as boring as the Hindenburg Trials... No, wait, I meant them Nuremberg thingies. That's right.
These Hobbit movies just drag on and on, and if I remember the book from when I was a kid there was never any 3-hours of screen time given to a fat, evil, comb-overed douchebag who ran Lake-town and hated Bard. What's up with that addition, Jackson? Why not throw in some adorable widdle orphans who sing and dance against the big, bad Smaug instead? Or some cute puppies or gnomes as mascots for the dwarves? Hey, those ideas are no worse than making the last chapter in a children's book into a 2 1/2 hour movie of boredom and pain.
Arrrrrrrr. This movie hurt this old man's heart of glass, it did.
I was around when The Hobbit was first published, and JRR Tolkien was actually a good friend of mine. Arrrr. We used to tool around, go sailing, nail some dockside whores... It was actually me who inspired me friend to write the Hobbit. T'was I who introduced the man to a little midget hooker with hairy feet and a penchant for gold rings. Arrrrrr. The rest as they say, be history.
The point of me tale above is this: I know JRR Tolkien. I was friends with JRR Tolkien. And Mr. Jackson, you be NO JRR Tolkien. Arrrrrr. Feck you, and your pony that you rode in on and probably had New Zealander sex with! Pony-fecker.