Hobbit: Battle of the five armies – Movie Review (3/5)

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Sings the same old monotonous tune

Critic’s rating: 3

Director: Peter Jackson

Star Cast: Martin Freeman, Luke Evans, Richard Armitage, Ian Mckellen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly.

Runtime: 2 hours 40 minutes.

We have finally reached the end of a tumultuous journey through middle earth with Percy Jackson, after over a decade now. Hobbit: Battle of the five armies, is the final installment of his shockingly over extended Hobbit franchise. The original book by Tolkien might be suitable for a two part adaptation, but a trilogy begs to have immense diversions from the original text, and so is the case. While no doubt the movies have been an absolute treat for the eyes and imagination, portraying the highest levels of technological genius in film making, the plot has been shapeless, predictable and tedious. The latest and the shortest movie ( 2hours 40 minutes) does not fail to intrigue Jackson faithful’s, being an out and out war movie with spectacular and exuberant fight sequences it is sure to keep action movie buffs interested. But beware even the shortest film of the franchise can turn out to be tediously mind numbing and dull if you are looking for edge of the seat thrill in relation to the plot.

The movie basically starts off from the end of the prequel, the opening few minutes is testimony to the sheer power of Smaug, the dragon, as it destroys the village of laketown in the presence of the protagonist, Bilbo ( Martin Freeman), and his dwarf buddies. The sequence is one of the best in regard to special effects and is an absolute cinematic triumph, inciting into the movie a sense of urgency and starting it off on a rapid note. Through these proceedings a new character, the dragon slaying bowman by the name of Bard ( Luke Evans) comes forth. The dragon problem is solved almost with a poetic irony, arrow meets breast kind of stuff. Not really fodder for the brain.

The devastated people of smoldering lake town, reasonably enough, lay claim to a part of the dragons treasures. But Thorin, the dwarf leader, shown to be blinded by greed and infected by “Dragon sickness” refuses to part with a single coin of the treasure and is particularly obsessed with finding the ” Arkenstone”. His greed sparks a titular war among the men of Laketown, Elves of Mirkwood, Dwarves of the iron hills and multiple divisions of orcs all laying claim to the treasure of the lonely mountains. Gandalf, on the other hand recruits a few of his old friends to try and break out of Sauron’s Dungeon.

A flabby and tedious middle portion leads to an hour long fight between the contenders, involving humans, dwarves, elves, and monsterous creatures of all shape, sizes and form. A matter of four pages in the original book, the fight sees a much grander representation and ramifications in Jacksons retelling. From battles of large masses oozing grandeur and over the top exuberance to one on one duels between our middle earth heroes, it’s all one grand fight with crumbling bridges and falling giants. The added storyline involving a interspecies love triangle between Legolas ( Orlando Bloom), Taurine (Evangaline Lily), and Kili ( Aidan Turner) is an overkill. Bilbo gets very little screen time, with little to do through the movie. Luke Evans portrays his character with a beautiful artistic finesse,  Armitage gives a sublime performance as Thorin.

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The movie has grandeur with few light hearted moments, but losses out on plot and storyline, turning out to be almost an unnecessary extension of the franchise. If you are not expecting a thought incanting storyline, barring the middle portion it is sure to keep you entertained with its fast paced action and visual effects. A fantasy fiction with little to offer as per story. The defining chapter only does define the unnecessary of it.

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