The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Movie Review V2.0


The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Review by Frances Winston

Directed by: Peter Jackson

Starring: Ian Mckellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Orlando Bloom

In cinemas December 12th

After what seems like an eternity of epic cinema Peter Jackson finally gives us the final instalment of his adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s sagas of Middle Earth and as the title suggests there is action aplenty as the events of the previous two films finally come to a head.

Jackson does seem to assume that anyone watching this will have seen its predecessors as, much like soap operas, it picks up exactly where the last instalment, The Decimation of Smaug, left off. The Dragon Smaug (Cumberbatch) is on his way to destroy Lake Town , Gandalf (McKellin) is still a prisoner in Dol Guldur and Bilbo Baggins (Freeman) and most of the Dwarves are still inside the lonely mountain.

After Bard (Evans) manages to slay the dragon the people of he decimated town head to the mountain to find shelter and gold to rebuild their lives. Unfortunately Dwarf King Thorin (Armitage) has become obsessed by Smaugs gold and refuses to honour an agreement to share the riches with the people of Lake Town despite Bard’s protestations. However the townsfolk find an ally in Thranduil and his Elf army who also seek some of the treasure and Thorin orders the Dwarves to secure the castle.

Despite Bilbo’s best efforts to prevent a slaughter Thorin seems determined to go to war to protect the treasure and calls on his cousin Dain Ironfoot II (Connolly) to help protect his fortress. With an epic battle about to commence the assembled armies are forced to unite when an Orc army descends also intent on taking the stronghold and the treasure and the fight commences that will change Middle Earth’s politics forever.

If none of that made any sense to you then you clearly aren’t a Tolkien fan and haven’t seen the previous offerings. If that is the case I would advise catching at least the previous two Hobbit movies before watching this or you will spend the whole movie trying to figure out who’s who. However, for all the people that have seen the previous offering this should sit nicely with them as a conclusion to the tale. Jackson throws every effect possible at this and the battle scenes are well thought out and as epic as you would expect. Three movies and two years of filming in all the actors have found their feet with the characters so there are some great performances although one or two people seem to take the “ham it up” approach to acting in fantasy. There are also some real treats here including my personal favourite scene where the legend that is Christopher Lee shows off his fighting prowess! Go Christopher!

I could go on for ages about the cinematography and landscapes but this is a given since we all know the effort Jackson put into creating the fantasy world. I could also go on about the epic soundtrack but again after so many Middle Earth movies this is locked down. At just over two hours long it is also a more palatable length than some of Jackson’s previous movies and the ending does indeed leave you satisfied.

While I do not like the fact that he worked on the assumption that people have seen the previous movie or else the hugely impressive opening scene makes little sense this is unfortunately becoming a common trait of movie making and he’s not the first and won’t be the last to do this.

From the off this is filled with drama, action and breathtaking effects. It has a fantastic cast, some darkly comic moments and breathtaking battle scenes. It will definitely leave fans of the previous films satisfied and will possibly make a few more fans along the way. This does what it says on the tin and if you have enjoyed Jackson’s previous forays into Middle Earth you won’t be disappointed with this.

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