It’s truly amazing that Jackson could take a 200-page children’s book and inflate it to three long movies that rival Tolkien’s triple doorstopper magnum opus. Much of my enjoyment of the Hobbit movies comes from the opportunity to explore the cinematic vision of Tolkien’s seminal fantasy universe; for all their flaws, the Hobbit movies have been a lot of fun.
Like the other movies, the Battle of Five Armies suffers from bloat with unnecessary over-the-top content. I don’t need five minutes of abstract visual effects preceding a battle between Nazgul and some of the most powerful characters on Middle Earth that doesn’t go anyway, or a strange interspecies romance that I can’t help question the biological validity of. I didn’t like that the villain was CGI (a human actor in makeup with CGI touch-ups would have been for more convincing and tangible), nor that so many scenes were too-weightless-to-be-real CGI – I hope Jackson isn’t going down the Lucas path.