The Hobbit: the Battle of the Five Armies

by | Jan 15, 2015 | 0 comments

An Ending that Is Satisfying Enough for Fans

I really don’t know what to think of this film. I was extremely disappointed with the previous film of the trilogy: The Desolation of Smaug, so I perceived this film as a vast improvement. And cinematically, I was too in awe with the nerdification of the story to notice some obvious flaws. However, I will try and do my best and analyze this film with an objective light.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is a fan film. Don’t walk into the theatre if you didn’t see the previous films or even The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The Battle of the Five Armies isn’t like a Harry Potter film or a Hunger Games movie. It doesn’t have a beginning, middle and end. Rather the whole Hobbit trilogy is divided into that story arc. That is probably why the other films in the trilogy were so low on quality; The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was all beginning and middle but had no end; The Desolation of Smaug, well that was just absolute trash; finally The Battle of the Five Armies is the 2hr long end to the saga.

In this film we pick up right where we left of in Desolation of Smaug. The dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) is infuriated with the dwarves and Bilbo (Martin Freeman) who disturbed his sleep and expelled him from the Lonely Mountain, ancient kingdom of the dwarves. Smaug is flying to release his wrath and rage upon Lake Town, a small fishing village that the dwarves passed through in the previous film. Without giving too much away, let’s just say that the treasure that the dragon had been guarding all these years is now unprotected and it draws five armies of orcs, goblins, elves, men, and even more dwarves to fight for it. We also follow Gandalf (Ian McKellen) who had last been imprisoned by a dark Necromancer in the fortress of Dol-Guldur. There we see him battle the Necromancer (Benedict Cumberbatch as well. This specific wizard fight wasn’t in the book and director Peter Jackson scores a lot of points here by satisfying the nerds.

The story is a bit elongated with the dwarf leader Thorin’s (Richard Armitrage) madness. Supposedly Thorin’s previous ancestors had also grown mentally ill and paranoid over his treasure. But this section of the film simply leads to postponement of action for a whole hour. However, once we get to the fighting is when Peter Jackson shines. His famous battle sequences of the previous Lord of the Rings films are seen here again, and although he disregards a lot of the laws of physics we forgive him. Yes, there are the clichéd ‘boss fights’ which are stretched so long that Thorin’s foe resurrected three times.

The acting is mostly forgettable, with the exception of maybe Luke Evans, Lee Pace, Ian McKellen, and Martin Freeman. The problem is that the cast was so large and so many loose ends needed to be tied up, that all the characters in the film ended up being supporting characters rather than the hearts and lungs of the film.

The CGI is easily the best part of the film. The way that Jackson is able show the clash of the five armies in a coherent and visually stunning way is admirable. And the choreography of battle was also creative and intelligent.  

The ending is satisfying for book fans, which is not something most film adaptations can claim. However, in his journey to this ending, Jackson lost the bulk of his non-reading audience. The artistry and delightful wrapping of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King can’t be compared to the much inferior Battle of Five Armies; this was a smaller scaled ending for a misguided trilogy.  







Finale Satisfaction

What is your favorite Peter Jackson film? Let me know in the comments section.

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