The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
And with this, the Hobbit movies, mercifully, come to an end. No more stretching a one-hour story into three over-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 should choose to see it, don't waste your money on high frame rate, 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 theater 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, men and who gives a shit, start battling over the riches Smaug gathered, with a glowing stone being the final prize. Thorin, a dwarf leader, gets “dragon sickness” and things get dumber from there. It all amounts to a big nothing, with all of the charms of Jackson's first, masterful Lord of the Rings trilogy lost in a sea of too shiny 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 took over. Boy, was I ever wrong.