The Lord of the Rings was this generation’s Star Wars. Now, following in the footsteps of its intergalactic forefather, Middle Earth has coughed out its own mediocre prequel trilogy. Well, at least Lucas had Revenge of the Sith.

The Hobbit’s final stand, however, is a rotund exercise in tedium, and the worst of the sickly bridging triplets. It opens with what should have been Desolation’s climax, finishes with a mostly vapid interracial punch-up, and offers little else.

Armitage’s Shakespearian reworking of Thorin as a tragic hero is inspired, but the rest remains a ringtone squeaking to be a symphony.

Peter Jackson is a monumentally gifted world builder, but The Battle of the Five Armies is obese with dull characterisation yet skeletal when it comes to energy and narrative satisfaction. Tolkien’s hot water bottle of a fairytale has been scorched.



CAST: Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ian McKellen, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Evangeline Lilly and Cate Blanchett

DIRECTOR: Peter Jackson

WRITERS: Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro.

SYNOPSIS: Bilbo and Company are forced to engage in a war against an array of combatants and keep the terrifying Smaug from acquiring a kingdom of treasure and obliterating all of Middle-Earth.