Very rarely do I see an adaptation of the film and truly regret that I hadn't read the book before. But in this case...I feel that if I had been aware of certain plot points from the get-go I wouldn't have felt like a victim of a bait and switch. To read my tiny spoiler-filled rant highlight the following in white. Look. I freaking loved Benedict Cumberbatch's Smaug. LOVED HIM. The best part of the series. Excuse me for being so stupid to expect he'd play a larger role in this one when it ended with the amazing "I am fire! I am death!" lines. To have him disposed of so quickly felt like a disservice to the character and the last entry he appeared in. Look okay, I just really liked that dragon. [/end of rant] Sorry book fans, I'm just not as smart as you. So some things I expect to happen that oh so obviously wouldn't have...make me feel a little cheated.
The movie also gets points with Lee Pace riding a battle moose/reindeer.
Ultimately The Battle of the Five Armies moves the chess pieces into place to where they need to be when we start Fellowship of the Ring...I just didn't leave the theater with the exhilarating feeling Return of the King left me with 11 years ago at the conclusion of its trilogy. Still...what can I say? I'm a sucker for middle earth under any occasion. EMILY RATING: 7.5