I was going to do this as part of a general overview post, but then it got long. The basic problem, though, is that Battle of the Five Armies suffered from a complete lack of storytelling.
This wasn’t a story. This was a series of events arranged in chronological order. Nothing really built, there was no arc for any of the characters, and most of it was pointless.
Cut for spoilers for The Hobbit (book and movies) and some mild spoilers for Lord of the Rings (books and movies).
Stumbled on this. Quite glad even though it’s long and actually is even longer, considering all the long sub-posts it links to. Because while I have neither energy nor time to go into detail about what my problems with botfa are and how I feel it, and the series, could be better, vicariously living the postulations is much needed therapy I didn’t know I need. Especially when the responses I got on a forum where I shared my thoughts tended towards vocal supporters determined to justify the problems I see with the movies (I wasn’t convinced by any shot), or had issues but were not expressed well or countered thoughtfully, this is an interesting find.
There is discussion on all the major characters, their characterisations and arcs. Bonus; the book is held up for reference too.
I am in total agreement with the premise the movie is basically a moving sequence of events. To me, it’s reminiscent of a quest game – hit certain marks in a certain order and score! Turn it on, finish it or don’t. Restart it, or give it up. It doesn’t matter. My problem is I WANT IT TO, DAMMIT!
I’ve said and expressed my piece, quite a few times, as recently as this morning but it bears saying again, so here goes.
This trilogy is based on a book, lovingly crafted with attention to details, but it is not quite with the book. It is a mass-market movie but strangely finely-tuned with rather significant nods and easter-eggs that fly right over the mass market audience.
The open secret is that knowledge of the book, and associated publications that is not going to be read by the average mass-market audience turns out to be at least beneficial to understanding the unexplained stuff in the movie. This in turn frustrates, if not infuriate, the reader, because it is replete with obtuse story-telling, unfathomable creative choices and hanging plotgaps for which resolution MIGHT BE delivered in the extended edition… which leaves the larger population of the mass-market theatrical release… where?
I’m not done with all the related posts on this post, and I’m sure I’m not going to be shouting “Aye!” at every point in every one of them, but based on what I’ve read so far, I have to encourage people with hobbit/botfa issues to try them on for size, just on principle.
And conversely, I dare people who love and support the divisive hobbit/botfa stuff (you know of what/who I speak) to have a look, and not develop a shred of agreement at all.
I’m disappointed with a lot in the movies, but there are still things I like. And I am still hanging on to the one saving grace, to my mind, that this trilogy is not what Episodes I, II, III are to the Star Wars franchise. At least so far. But I am not going to let that stop me from finishing this excellent series of critiques by lawyernovelist.
– Battle of the Five Armies Just Has No Story