A film series that started in 2001 with Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings series has finally come to end. Our second long journey though middle earth has reached its climax with the new film, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. We pick up right where we last left our hobbits. Bilbo and Company are forced to engage in a war against an array of combatants and keep the terrifying Smaug from acquiring a kingdom of treasure and obliterating all of Middle-Earth. In this last of three pictures we see action, war, blood, gore, brotherhood and love. Out of the three Hobbit pictures, this is by far the best one.
The film starts right where we left off, with Smaug descending on Laketown to destroy it. “I am fire, I am Death”. What could have been a rather boring scene of just a dragon destroying a town, Jackson made the action and the action beats all work in his favor. Whither he’s learned as a filmmaker or is listening to the right people, because this part of the movie was awesome.
Seeing sheer size of Smaug is even more impressive here than in the last flick. With amazing special CGI effects this dragon is alive and kicking. Many great characters moments happen in this opening: Evangeline Lilly’s, Tauriel, keeping the dwarves and Bard’s children from being harmed as the town burns around them. Luke Evens’, Bard the Bowman, finally gets his moment to shine, as he is the one to bring down the dragon. It’s one of the better moments in the flick and really shows off Even’s talent.
Once the dragon is down, it’s then we get back to the Bilbo and company. They are all trying to get used to the fact that they actually managed to achieve the goal they wanted. But there is little time for rejoicing as word soon spreads of the dragon’s death. Soon all will be coming for the gold. Which is bad timing because Thorin Oakenshield is being driven mad. He has “dragon sickness”, which means all the gold for him and none for others basically. He begins turning on his friends and is plotting to kill them if need be for his gold.
Richard Armitage plays Thorin with great talent. As Thorin descends further into madness we see Armitage take his acting almost to a campy area, but because he knows what he doing as an actor he knows just the right amount or crazy to give where it’s believable. The scenes between him and Bilbo towards the end of the movie are quite touching. Not as touching as Sam and Frodo, but they do enough to pull at your heartstrings.
As all that happening, Gandalf, Ian McKellen, is off having his own little adventure before joining back up with Bilbo and company. He is still hurt from his battle with the dark shadow and must be rescued by Elrond, Saruman the White, Radagast the Brown and The Lady Galadriel. A scene for the movie mainly, but what a cool scene it is. Here we get to see some of our favorite Lord of the Rings characters kick some major ass. A huge highlight is watching Cate Blanchett wing out and give us some more of her “Dark Queen” persona. And props to the special effects of green screen and stunt actors for Christopher Lee, who is ill/old and could not be in an action scene. But the way it’s cut you know it’s not him, but done so well you don’t mind. It’s one of the better scenes in the flick.
As the title suggest there is a battle between five armies. As the Dwarves protect their mountain, the humans and elves, lead by Bard the Bowman and Thranduil, Lee Pace. They all start to fight for the control and wealth of the mountain, but that’s when two different armies of orcs show up, to cause some major issues. Forcing the humans, elves and dwarves to put aside their petty disagreements and fight together to stop Azog the Defiler and his massive orc armies.
Just like the last few Hobbit films and even Lord of the Rings, Jackson likes to make sure all the fan favorites get their moment to shine whether it be a well place joke, insult or action beat that get the audience’s blood flowing. And here is no exception. The two brothers: Kili and Fili, played by Aiden Turner and Dean O’Gorman, both get a moment to kick some orc butt. Turner, more than O’Gorman, mostly because of the little romance story between he and Tauriel.
Even Thranduil gets a huge cheer as he shows us why he’s the king of the elves. And just as all the other movies, Orlando Bloom’s Legolas comes in and does everything all perfect and acrobatic. Yes, we get it; he’s a badass elf. Little over done at this point, but over all doesn’t hurt the flick.
This is a good flick. None of The Hobbit’s films are as good as Lord of the Rings, but they’re not trying too. These stories are two totally different animals, each having their own merit. But as far as The Hobbit series goes, this, as said, is the best one. Starts with action and never stops. Little stops along the way for story, but over all it’s right back into the excitement. Which is how it should be, the movie has battle in the title, we better see a battle, and that we do. A little sad knowing we’ve reached the end of this cinematic adventure, but all good things, so with that, thank you Mr. Jackson, well played.