The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is the final, powerful chapter in the amazing Lord of The Rings prequels. After 16 years and 6 films, it’s a bittersweet as we close the book on this extremely successful roller coaster ride throughout Middle Earth.
The last film in the LOTR franchise is most certainly a battle between 5 armies. You would think that a confrontation between the dwarves, humans, elves, orcs, trolls (and even some mercenary goblins) would be an overwhelming mix of shapes and sizes smashing and bashing each other from one side of the screen to the other. But Jackson and his own amazing army of CGI artists create tantalizing transitions zooming in on some amazing 1 on 1 battles to slickly swoop out as you take in the vast armies of orcs spilling out over the mountainside. And it doesn’t stop there! Giant bats, crazy battle creatures and massive earthworms get in on the awe inspiring action from the frontlines.
I was very happy with not only the action, but the way Jackson and his writers wrap up the last part of this amazing tale. With the movie starting off with Smaug burning Laketown and its villagers to the ground you are immediately caught up in the emotion and suspense. It hardly stops there. After the tragedy of Laketown there is a mini-climax with a new human hero Bard (Luke Evans), slaying the angry dragon. There’s also the dwarf-leader Thorin (Richard Armitage) suffering from dragon sickness and consumed by greed as he swim in his endless treasure and searches for the Arkenstone (the heart of the mountain). He turns his back on the survivors of Laketown and is confronted by the elves and then pretty much everyone else in Middle Earth. It’s a compelling culmination and one of the last times we will see Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Bilbo (Martin Freeman) as well the elves played by Orlando Bloom and Evangeline Lilly fight side by side against ancient enemies and the legions of orcs.
Fans of the LOTR will not be disappointed as Jackson and his storytellers (that include Guillermo del Toro this time out) take it above and beyond and then present it all visually in some serious 3D. The Battle of The Five Armies is the shortest film in the series, but the battles scenes are so epic and the unfolding drama so engaging, you begin to miss all the characters and the wondering world of LOTR even before the credits roll. It was a beautiful journey through a mystically and enchanting setting that masterfully brought the worlds created by J. R. R. Tolkien to life.
This film has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images.
December 17, 2014
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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and The Hobbit, and the names of the characters, events, items and places therein, are trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises under license to New Line Productions, Inc.
* We attended a screening for editorial purposes. Our opinions are solely our own.