The Hobbit: A disappointing set of movies, but a worthy set of prequels

December 17, 2014 11:11 AM

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By and large, Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy has been an unwelcome journey. The first movie is riddled with bizarre comic relief, including an extended dishwashing sequence and a bunch of farting cave trolls. The second entry — by far the best one — succeeds due to two genuinely thrilling set pieces: a trip down a river and a confrontation with a terrifying dragon.

The third movie, which turns out to be the worst, is so clearly overstretched that it's hard to justify its existence at all. There's about a half hour of story in The Battle of the Five Armies' 144 minutes; most of the rest is spent on the brutally monotonous battle, as dozens of characters we don'...

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