*The last paragraph expresses short analysis* The Hobbit: The Battle of Sony and North Korea (um, I mean the Five Armies. . . got something else on the mind) is a film of epic proportions. It's too bad that Michael Bay directed it. Oh wait, Peter Jackson directed it? Ok then. . . I have a distinct feeling that Peter Jackson when making this film thought to himself, “Well, this is my last Middle Earth film. I'm going to do whatever the H-E-double-toothpicks I want.”
I don't mean to sound too critical, because this film is freakin' fun. Out of all of the Hobbit films, this is probably the most enjoyable in terms of pure adrenaline rush. There is also some emotionally resonant moments that are almost overwhelmingly powerful. Keep that in mind. That being said, I see it as undeniably the worst of all the Middle Earth films.
Let's begin with the biggest problem. It is one thing to say a film is fantasy. It is another thing to throw out complete logic, for cheap thrills. Paraphrasing the brilliant John Campea of AMC Movie Talk, stick within the bounds of logic in your universe you've set up. Since I last checked this is the same film universe that exists in the Lord of the Rings universe. There is a gritty realism within this reality. There is stakes. People can die left and right, without predictability. Physics are physics. Sure, elves and wizards are ballas, for a lack of a better word. They're not superheroes though. They cannot defy gravity at will. However, that being said, sometimes cheap thrills are fun, and are reasonable form of escapism. Nevertheless, they are particularly stupid.
Another flaw I cannot ignore is the dialogue. Some of it is incredibly, incredibly (did I say incredibly) forced. They even make an actress like Evangeline Lilly look bad. I imagine low budget soap opera writers extending their “expertise” to quite a few parts of the film. It is only in a few scenes, but the ones it is in, is laughable - so much so that is almost enjoyable in a its so bad its good type of way.
Small issues of pacing, contrived and hammed in political messages, and surprisingly a couple cringe worthy moments of unfinished looking CGI in what otherwise has prestige visuals, also bring the film down. Though, let's delve too much into the “negative”. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is Guardians of the Galaxy type of fun. That is to say, if you enjoy not having to think and having all kinds of humour and bombastic action thrown in you're face, you'll enjoy the film.
You'll also probably bound to love the characters. Obviously, Martin Freeman is awesome as Bilbo. He continues to show why he is a top notch actor. Thorin Oakenshield is also great, even if he is a complete d!%k, and everyone else - including but not limited to Gandalf, Bard, and Thranduil - hold their own in the acting department.
Like I said, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is sort of a dumb film. Logic is thrown out of the window for an exaggerated form of reality, that Peter Jackson probably fantasized about his entire run as a director, but didn't have ability to put on screen till now. Sadly, what it ends up looking like is as if Michael Bay would have directed The Return of the King. That doesn't mean it isn't fun though. You're likely to have a blast, if not a completely rewarding experience.
Personal Preference: 4.25/5
Critical Analysis: 2.75/5