THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Movie Review
It’s here, the great battle of our time. Oh wait, that was The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King. Well here’s the conclusion to The Hobbit Trilogy, our review of The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies. Does it hold up to our enormously high standards?
It’s been a long journey hasn’t it? If we take the franchise as Peter Jackson wants us to then it has been thirteen years worth of friendships forged and battles won. From the beginning of The Fellowship Of The Ring to the end of The Battle Of The Five Armies you definitely feel there is a connection between these characters and you need that otherwise you will get lost in all the battles, with all the armies. As someone who hasn’t read the source material I have to say I was interested in discovering the fates of our heroes.
I had grown fond of Kili, Fili, Dwalin, Balin, Bofur and especially Thorin, the rest were okay. The Battle Of Five Armies opens directly where the previous movie ended, with Bilbo and the dwarves having unleashed the fury of Smaug on the townspeople of Laketown. I won’t spoil anything but suffice to say things burst into flames and some of those things may be people and houses. After this opening battle, the audience and the dwarves learn that Erebor is now open to anyone and everyone. Which means that the dwarves have to prepare for an onslaught of enemies, both financial and personal.
From it’s opening we are again reminded of the beauty of Middle Earth. We see the beautiful Misty Mountains and then we watch in awe as Smaug uses his devastating power to it’s full potency. It is jaw dropping watching Smaug in that first opening scene and sets up nicely what is to come. After the first opening scene we have some great character scenes such a some fantastic scenes between Thorin (Richard Armitage) and everyone around him, from his kin to his enemies, Thorin’s descent into madness gives even more depth to an already well established character.
There are also the great battles scenes, as usual, Jackson goes all out setting up these intense and pivotal battles. Every battle matters, and you feel it. One of the funnier issues with The Hobbit The Battle Of The Five Armies has to be when the armies are settling in for all-out battle. To me it felt like the introduction scene to the Anchorman press battles. It felt forced and took me out of the movie. Then there is the glaring problem that has plagued The Hobbit since it began three years ago. The special effects still look iffy to me. Why, oh why did Jackson decide to do away with the practical effects on the orcs and other such monsters? This movie is basically SFX porn because there is so much SFX, almost to a fault. Thankfully, the characters we are supposed to care for are not lost, thanks mainly to the strong performances from our leads and the majority of the supporting cast. Bilbo (Martin Freeman) is once again the relatable hero we all have come to love and his journey comes full circle wonderfully by the end of The Hobbit The Battle Of The Five Armies.
With a strong cast, a satisfying end and a surprisingly decent run time (it’s only 2 hours and 20 minutes long) The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies is a great send off to the anthology of fantasy movies Peter Jackson has crafted for us. Sit down with friends and journey one last time into Middle Earth.