Will Legolas survive? (A: Yes.)

As the title would suggest, most of this third installment is devoted to computer-generated hordes of orcs, dwarves, elves, and humans shouting and hacking at each other in seemingly endless, repetitive fight scenes. The rest is dedicated to setting up director Peter Jackson's previous The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but knowing that the characters involved must survive for the next/first three movies diminishes the drama and jeopardy; the heroes' fates are never in doubt. Another subplot—not present in the novel but invented by the filmmakers—sees the welcome addition of a female warrior elf, but she's saddled by a love triangle between two boring boys and eventually relegated to damsel-in-distress status. But hey, at least it gave the producers enough material for a ... recommended

This is a three-part review of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. For part one, "The Introduction of the Premise," click here. For part three, "The Third and Final Part," click here.