For some reason, I’m not as excited at the prospect of watching The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies as I was before, say, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King debuted.
Is it because I already know where the One Ring will end up? Perhaps the suspense is not as great as it was more than 10 years ago, when the LOTR trilogy was entering its final stages.
There’s also the issue of the Hobbit movies not being as great as the LOTR films. There’s not as much riding on the protagonists, it seems, as there was in the later books and movies. I mean, once you have Sauron and Ringwraiths pursuing you, being tense becomes an everyday thing.
I think another problem is the fact that the Hobbit pictures have been stretched out to three cinematic chapters, whereas the three LOTR books just made three movies. There seems to be a lot of filler in the former films: lots of battle scenes that are fun to watch but aren’t as insistent as the ones in LOTR.
I suspect The Battle of Five Armies will be enjoyable. Just not the instant classic that The Return of the King is.
So I saw The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug yesterday.
Well done … for the most part. It got a bit overdone toward the finale, what with all the running and jumping and dragon-escaping. And the abundance of chase scenes became somewhat exhausting. But in general, this is (as usual for director Peter Jackson) ace moviemaking, with memorable visuals, quick pacing, strong performances and a powerful score driving the picture. Plus, you’ve got a Gandalf-Sauron confrontation, barrel-riding galore and the wonderfully villainous Smaug crammed into it, so there’s no shortage of set pieces, while the entrance of the latter character is a testament to Jackson’s skill at providing good, old-fashioned suspense.
Like most quality movies, Desolation merits watching again. I’m curious to find out if it’ll lose its luster the second time or, like the Arkenstone, stay shiny after multiple viewings.