Movie Review – The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
In the final instalment of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, Bilbo and the company of dwarves continue to battle the dragon Smaug, who at the conclusion of the last film was heading to nearby Lake Town to destroy it and all its innocent inhabitants. Meanwhile, the dwarves and Bilbo must also consider building up and fortifying the area from an incoming invasion of orcs who are intent on taking back the mountain for the building dark forces that are beginning to come over the land. Bilbo also works with Gandalf to try and find a lasting truce and alliance between the humans, elves, and dwarves armies, so they can align against the true enemies rather than fight each other. Meanwhile, Gandalf also continues his search to uncover the extent of the dark forces that are at work in the land.
Overall, this film was very well executed by Peter Jackson and company. Jackson did a great job keeping the film to a reasonable length, not overextending it given the short novel had already been extended to three films. The length for this final showing felt right. There was a strong mix of action and battle scenes that were very impressive on the screen, yet there was also a nice amount of characters development and dialogue for a wide array of characters here. As in the novel, things didn’t go perfectly for the dwarves, and we saw some character deaths in the battle which made the story poignant and real. Acting in the film was fantastic, with Martin Freeman as star character Bilbo really carrying the day with his wit, charm, and humour. Freeman is exceptional in this role. Although there were some story lines and plot points not found in the book that some may not enjoy, Jackson and the writing team did a good job pulling material from the Hobbit novel and other Tolkien novels, and some additional material they threw in did add value and help round out the story and the film. Overall, Jackson did a great job bringing the story of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit to film.
Overall: 4 stars out of 5 stars.