Orcs and Elves and Dwarves, oh my. No one should be surprised at the identity of three of the five titular armies that go to battle in the final installment of Peter Jackson’s bloated adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Or that the human residents of Lake Town, featured prominently in The Desolation of Smaug, make up the fourth of those five featured combatants. But for the sake of those unfamiliar with the book I’ll refrain from naming the final army, whose critical contribution to the battle seems largely glossed over anyway. But none of the battle sequences in this film feel critical. Well-rendered waves of CGI Elves and Orcs and Dwarves clash convincingly over the well-rendered battlefield of Erebor. But who really cares? The main characters, Thorin, Bard, Gandalf, Tauriel and Bilbo all have brief moments where we get some sense of character and narrative, but mostly the film consists of endless CGI cinematography and warfare. And although Billy Connolly’s turn as the Dwarf king Dain Ironfoot is almost worth the price of admission, the rest of the film, like the others in The Hobbit trilogy, is just too long and too much.
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