The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies may be doing very well financially, but the film—the last in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy—is getting blasted by critics and audiences alike. The film’s rating is the lowest of any of the Hobbit trilogy movies on Rotten Tomatoes, and even the most diehard Jackson fans weren’t satisfied with the ultimate quality of the film. But why doesn’t The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies work? Let’s look at 3 reasons why the film ended up being subpar.
Smaug is barely in the film
The second film’s finale with Smaug was a fun and dangerous pay-off after nearly two films of build-up about the terrible and terrifying dragon. The second film ended with Smaug on a rampage, with Laketown in peril .The third film treats Smaug like a blip on the radar—his destruction of the town is shown in the aftermath, he has hardly any lines, and he is dispatched within the first 20 minutes of the movie. This is a huge letdown which not only deprived the film of an interesting character, but created a sloppy, disjointed pacing.
The female characters are written poorly
Jackson’s decision to introduce Tauriel and Galadriel into the story is an admirable one—the films can always use more interesting female characters. The trouble is that both Galadriel and Tauriel are written poorly in Battle of the Five Armies. Both characters screen time is almost exclusively spent thinking, worrying or crying about men they care for with no other motivation to make them full-fledged characters. Tauriel begins to fight poorly because she’s focused on Kili, and has to be rescued not once, but twice because of her distraction; Galadriel stops participating in the battle so she can cry over Gandalf.
Too much CGI
CGI has been a plague on every single Hobbit film, and the final film in the trilogy is no exception. The Lord of the Rings films deftly combined makeup, camera angles and thousands of extras with a bit of CGI to create a realistic, beautifully crafted world. The Hobbit does almost every single thing on green screen, and it shows. The CGI in the film is so obvious and at times, so poorly done that it is absolutely distracting. At times, the film feels more like “Battle of the Five Armies: The Video Game” than a motion picture with millions of dollars in the budget box.