Immediately after the events of The Desolation of Smaug, Bilbo and the dwarves try to defend Erebor's mountain of treasure from others who claim it: the men of the ruined Laketown and the elves of Mirkwood. Meanwhile an army of Orcs led by Azog the Defiler is marching on Erebor, fueled by the rise of the dark lord Sauron. Dwarves, elves and men must unite, and the hope for Middle-Earth falls into Bilbo's hands.
|Release Date||:||December 10, 2014|
|Genres||:||Action, Adventure, Fantasy|
|Production Company||:||Warner Bros. Pictures, WingNut Films, New Line Cinema, 3Foot7, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer|
|Production Countries||:||New Zealand, United States of America|
|Writers||:||J.R.R. Tolkien, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro|
|Casts||:||Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, Aidan Turner, Dean O'Gorman, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Lee Pace, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, Sylvester McCoy, Mikael Persbrandt, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, John Bell, Peggy Nesbitt, Mary Nesbitt, Manu Bennett, John Tui, Billy Connolly, Kelly Kilgour, Sarah Peirse, Nick Blake, Simon London, Conan Stevens, Allan Smith, Miranda Harcourt, Thomasin McKenzie|
|Plot Keywords||:||corruption, elves, dwarf, orcs, middle-earth (tolkien), hobbit, dragon, battle, unlikely friendship, epic battle, sword and sorcery|
Before seeing _The Battle of the Five Armies_ today, I told people, "The first two films lacked fidelity to the book, but this one should be better." I figured Jackson wouldn't have to add lots of extraneous invented action scenes because the final third of the book contained plenty of action.
Boy, was I wrong.
Unnecessary invented characters from the previous films continued to take up screen time in this one, and many new ones were added. Tolkien wouldn't recognize a bunch of grand-scale evildoers or various "good guys" whose relationships were supposed to tug at our hearts, though they turned my stomach instead.
The additions included plenty of trite dialogue. When one invented character, in a scene made from whole cloth, was shown weeping over a loved one and asking "Why does it hurt so much?", I just about tossed my Junior Mints.
Meanwhile, a character largely responsible for turning the tide in the book's Battle of Five Armies (note the lack of a "the" before "Five") was shown in the film, without explanation, for about three seconds. Blink and you might miss it.
When one baddie was apparently killed, I thought, "If he suddenly jumps up and starts fighting again, I'm leaving." Too bad I didn't follow through on my threat after that excruciatingly predictable plot twist.
Did I mention that Dain, confronting the elf warriors, came across as some nightmare parody of John Cleese performing "The Lord of the Fawlty Towers"?
I could go on, but "travesty" is about the kindest word I can use for this mass of claptrap. I now fear that Jackson will film _The Silmarillion_, turning it into yet another tawdry, over-the-top CGI fest.