Finally, the Battle of the Five Armies has hit the theaters. Two movies so far were setting the ground for this grand finale. We have yet to see how Smaug’s fiery rampage envelops outside the Lonely Mountain, what will White Council do with Sauron and his dark legions now that they’ve captured Gandalf and the threat is more real than ever, how the big battle of five armies takes the place and what is the fate of our characters. Sounds great, what could possibly go wrong?
The movie definitely looks great from the outside and starts with a bang, takes us on a ride even more so than previous ones. Talking about previous, I still believe Smaug storyline should have been concluded in the last chapter, so now, that they’ve dragged us for basically two movies without any conclusions, they better deliver in this one! Well that they did. It is very interesting to see how characters react when they are pushed to the limits, especially Thranduil who without a second thought executes actions and give orders with icy cold certainty. Elrond, our host of Rivendell, quits his meditating and draws out the sword for the first time after the Battle of Last Alliance, and Galadriel unleashing her true potential and showing the power of Noldor. The whole visual part is done perfectly. The Saurons hordes are again menacing and merciless like in LOTR trilogy including some surprises, the company of the Dwarves from Iron Hills are completely crazy, “off the hook” and are very fun to watch, Silvan elf army is majestic like Eldar really are and it’s a site to behold. The big battles are numerous and they are really detailed, furious and they look epic. However, somehow in many moments they don’t feel like it, so why is that? Some would say that “we all know the results so it feels like nothing is actually at stake”, but I don’t necessarily think so. Still, the acting is great, dialogues are ok… So what is it? What I’ve noticed and I see, many people actually did not is that – the soundtrack in this movie has missed the target.
There are no impactful sounds when certain things happen, no memorable themes. The music in the movie is nothing like music in the trailers. Especially when the main character is in real danger or when one big moment suddenly change the course of the battle. In the movie where there are no actually major twists to begin with, those things are crucial to keep up the tone of the movie and it’s story. What makes the things worse is that many scenes throughout the movie are longer than they should be without a reason. So far I never complained about extra time spent in middle-earth, and I was perfectly ok with all previous ones in length, even the extended cuts (which are the only ones that I keep in my collection) but this is the very first time that I feel that Jackson was just shooting for the length record while in fact it still ends in less than 2 and a half hours, but for me, it felt like it was 3, just because those things. Still, as a fan I don’t mind it much but it needed to be said. At least we got a “documentary of cleaning the tobacco pipe with Gandalf” :) And while the movie may seem to be stretched out a bit there are actually many details left out considering conclusions, and unfortunately it looks that Jackson either took criticism about “too much departures in Return of the King” to the heart or simply rushed the conclusion with lack of ideas. However, I’m pretty sure many of the things that do feel missing will find their place in the Extended Cut which is announced to be 30 minutes longer.
True, the Hobbit story itself is very little part of this whole film but it actually shaped it’s entire course so I believe it still served it’s purpose and gave justice to it’s name. This is after all, an adaptation of Middle-Earth more than an adaptation of a Hobbit. In the end what we got is still very good movie that does shines but rarely to it’s full potential. It could have been better, but it’s still a fitting end to the trilogy and rightful chapter of a six-part saga as it directly ties to where the Lord of the Rings begins.
POPCORN LEVEL – 7/10
– To be honest, it is hard for me to do non-spoiler review like this, where I cannot go into details with more in depth information and discussions, so for all interested, I will definitely provide more analysis in the future.
May The Eagles Be With You ;)