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Third ‘Hobbit’ Movie Proves To Be One Too Many

If I was asked to sit down and create a list of movies/movie series that have suffered because of stretching source material too thin, my list would start with “The Hobbit.”

Recent paperback print runs of J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1937 novel come in at around 300 pages. Somehow, Peter Jackson and Warner Bros. were able to stretch that source material into three movies that chart in at just under eight hours. (By comparison, “Lord of the Rings” is 1,178 pages and the three movies came in at 558 minutes.)

(Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

With the release of the final “Hobbit” movie – “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” – we see nothing new.

Bilbo Baggins and company continue to battle their way through Middle Earth to reclaim the land and riches of the dwarves. Again they’re joined by humans, elves, orks, oompa loompas, chumba wumbas, ewoks, muppets … truthfully, I was so bored from beginning to end I couldn’t really tell you who was there or what happened.

Let me start with the negatives: the dialogue and story were stretched way too thin; because of that, even stellar actors like Cate Blanchett and Ian McKellan look horrible; overly long battle scenes; long, awkward pauses in dialogue (think “Family Guy” playing Conway Twitty songs to fill up episodes); and (as always) lots of walking.

In reality, the only truly “positive” thing I can say about “Hobbit 3” is that in looks and sounds good. Mind you, not as good as many action films, but on par or slightly beyond the first two movies.

(Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

I know trilogies (or as many movies as possible) are the “in thing” in Hollywood these days, but I really feel that the Hobbit is one series that REALLY suffered due to bloating for the sake of making more movies and money.

Had Warner Bros. stuck to the original of breaking “The Hobbit” source material into two movies of reasonable length, they could’ve matched the quality of the original “LOTR” series. Unfortunately, they settled on three way-too-long, way-too-boring films, ultimately sacrificing quality for quantity.

If you’ve already invested the time to see the first two movies, you might as well finish off the set, but I wouldn’t run to do it. If we’ve learned anything from Bilbo Baggins and company it’s that lots of walking can make you billions of dollars.

★1/2 of ★★★★★

© 2020 by Man Versus Movie

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