December 21, 2014

"The Hobbit: Part 3" Spoiler-Free Review


Well, this is it. Most likely the final Middle-earth film to ever be released. Herein, I shall review the film, spoiler-free.

Please note: I've seen none of these films in the 48FPS HFR release. Also, because I am waiting for the extended edition trilogy, I have not yet seen any extended edition.

This is it - the third and final film in Peter Jackson's film trilogy based on The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. As I like to unofficially call these films:  "The Hobbit Trilogy, or, The Prelude to the Lord of the Rings" , as opposed to "The Hobbit ,or, There And Back Again" which is the title of the book.

So you know the drill by now in regards to how a book that is approx. 350 pages (depending on the edition) got turned into a trilogy. This film picks up immediately after where Part 2 ended. I mean that literally - there is no 'prologue scene' unlike every other film in Peter Jackson's Middle-earth films. After Part 2's cliffhanger is resolved, the film sets up "The Battle of the Five Armies". The Battle itself is approximately 45 minutes. However, since there are many sides, skirmishes etc. The fight scenes are tense and well-done, as are the effects on the creatures, the scale of the armies, and the spectacle of Peter Jackson's fight scenes. This battle feels like a balanced mix between Helm's Deep, and the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. Because there are many sides and aspects of this battle, one does not get battle fatigued' from its length.   


As a reader, I was glad to see the expanded narrative. There is a great scene involving the White Council where Lady Galadriel really shines.

The film is a pretty decent send-off for The Hobbit Trilogy, as well as all the Middle-earth movies on the whole. Those who were disappointed with Part 2 may enjoy this one more, although the 'changes' may cause some grumbling and groaning. Or rather, justify said grumbling and groaning about those in Part 2. 

However, this time, instead of merely breaking down what worked and what did not work, I will say that there are 'loose ends' that are hopefully resolved in next November's forthcoming extended edition. These include:

- the final fate of the Arkenstone
- Bard
- Radagast
- Beorn
- why Tauriel is not in The Lord of the Rings 

- funerals / battle aftermath
- the coronation of The King Under the Mountain

I tend to not watch a lot of previews (or any) for films I know I'll see in cinemas. Partly due to 'anti-spoilers', partly due my reaction to footage in the previews being one thing, and how that footage is presented in the film itself being quite different. For this film, I only watched the 'teaser' and the 'main trailer'. I noticed a few scenes that were not present in the film that were in those - they will most likely be in the extended edition

I am not saying that the extended edition is 'mandatory' despite them being preferred versions of the Middle-earth, but due to some scenes missing, including ones of closure, I'd thought I'd mention it here. Speaking of extended edition, if you want an idea on what will be check out this article : https://atolkienistperspective.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/the-battle-of-the-five-armies-extended-edition-speculation/

And speaking of extended editions, (most likely) next November will see the extended edition for Part 3. I myself will be picking up the extended edition trilogy box set (2D) on blu-ray. THEN I will review the trilogy as a whole.

For now, though I give this film a solid
8.5 /10

and the trilogy as a whole

9/10 

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