The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (3D)

2014-12-12 12:42
What it's about:

Bilbo’s journey culminates in a desperate and dangerous choice as darkness converges on the Lonely Mountain and the races of Dwarves. Elves and Men must decide: Unite or be destroyed.

What we thought:

The Middle Earth franchise has probably been one of the biggest in movie history, rivalled only by the Star Wars franchise in scale. It propelled Peter Jackson into fame and made billions not only in the movie box office but also in DVD and merchandise sales. Although The Hobbit was never on the same level as The Lord of the Rings trilogy, it still had fans excited to experience more of the world inhabited by elves, dwarves, orcs and magic, and of course going on an adventure with our favourite hobbit.

Starting where we ended in the second installment, in the middle of a scene, Smaug the dragon destroys Lake-town in the first ten minutes of the film. After this small interlude, the film gets restarted with the townspeople seeking refuge near the entrance of Erebor, but Thorin is going slightly insane and more obsessed with gold and the mountain’s heart stone. The whole movie really is just one long scene, falling flat as a stand-alone film.

It is sad to see this epic franchise end on such an average note. As was said, the film should only have been two movies, and the last film drives it home. Peter Jackson really had to stretch out The Battle of Five Armies, and in the process had lost that Middle-Earth charm that I loved in the first two Hobbit films. Seeing as they were a bit loose with the subject material from the get-go, there were many scenes where they could have expanded the dialogue and subplots (Saruman going after Sauron comes to mind), which could have been fleshed out from Tolkien’s expanded unfinished stories.

However, the fans will go watch it regardless. It’s the end of an era, and the producers know it. Turning The Hobbit into a three-movie arc is really only about making money, and we all know they will succeed. The Battle itself ended being quite anti-climactic, especially in comparison to the epics of the LOTR battles. Their biggest draw was the amazing build-up throughout the film to the battle, including some heart-wrenching speeches to get the blood boiling. This was all missing, mainly because the build-up was already set up in the first two films. If you can, I would advise rewatching them just before going to see The Battle of Five Armies; it would make the experience much more worthwhile, especially the Smaug scene, which should have never been split between two films.

Still, Peter Jackson will remain the King of fight sequences. The choreography is outstanding and Saruman (Christopher Lee) and Elrond’s (Hugo Weaving) whooping of Sauron’s forces will forever be etched in my brain, including Galadriel’s epic beatdown. Bad-ass does not even describe it – I only wish it went on longer.

The dwarf army (one of the five) rides in on the best alternatives to horses ever, with our dwarf crew majestically ramming down everything in their path. Even if the story development and dialogue is lacking, at least you get the pleasure Middle-earth violence at its best – in fabulous costume and production design that you could almost feel through the screen.

As for the actors themselves, you cannot fault any of their skills. They really are the best of the best, and whatever you don’t like about them, it’s most definitely because of the script and not their inability to make you believe in their characters. I particularly enjoyed Dain Ironfoot, played by Billy Connolly, the head of the Ironfoot clan (the main dwarf army) who brought a much needed comedic break in the film. Also Luke Evan (Bard) has some great skill, and I think he’s going to start getting more and more headline gigs.

If you are a Middle-earth fan, you will go see this film regardless of what the critics say (I know I would do the same), even the more casual fans, and fortunately for Peter Jackson that following is one of the biggest. Still, you will come out leaving that he has let you down somehow, and that the film did not end with the quite the bang you wanted.

P.S. Stay to watch the credits for the song‘The Last Goodbye, absolutely lovely and will give you the sense of closure you didn’t get from the film.

Rosemary Boulter 2014/12/15 07:08
I have been blown away by Peter Jackson's 6 films in the franchise. They are epic! Nothing sombre or boring for me! I'm just sad they all had to come to an end. The attention to detail is superb.
anonymous 2014/12/15 08:26
I agree was an epic film totally disagree with the review . It was very enjoyable , filled with action right till the end and a lot more.
HP 2014/12/19 13:50
I am so sure its a awesome movie. Cant go with 3 stars only. Like penguins movies is maybe funny but the effects in this movies is much much better and the action and acting is also great.5 stars I would give
Olive 2015/01/02 07:55
A fitting end of this trilogy - epic movie loved every minute of it. Wish we could have more Hobbit movies. I GIVE IT 5 STARS
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