Film review – The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
The final hobbit film marks the end of over a decade of Tolkien trilogies and the end of this film is the beginning of the first Lord of the Rings to remind everyone that it is the prequel.
Just to quickly re-cap, the second part of The Hobbit trilogy ended with Smaug the dragon (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) stirring trouble by flying off to seek revenge on the village of Laketown. This leads on to a great opening scene of Smaug reeking havoc and the people fighting back, complete with a new hero and leader of the townsfolk.
After that it all goes downhill with an alliance between men and elves formed, war declared by Thorin, Saruman showing his true colors, Thorin becoming obsessed with gold and treasure and a pale orc with a huge army seeking revenge.
Cue an epic battle complete with dwarves, elves, men, wizards, trolls, a hobbit, eagles, goblins, and a bear for good measure. Most of the film, as you would expect, involves a lot of fast-pace action, gruesome battles and decapitations. Luckily there is also a love story, some comic relief and Sean Connery playing the Dwarf King Dain Ironfoot riding a ram into a battle to break that all up.
This film highlights the great casting and stellar acting, particularly by Ian Mckellen, Cate Blanchett and, of course, 92-year old Christopher Lee who, with a bit of movie magic and special effects, gives a stellar performance as Sauraman. Complete with action hero fighting, battling an evil group of wraiths and defending Gandalf and Galadriel.
If you are a hard-core fan of Tolkien and believe in sticking closely to the original book then be warned; this film has taken a lot of artistic license with added characters, battles and a love story that isn’t in the book, but it is to be expected from a Hollywood blockbuster, so try not to hold that against it.
Apart from that this film has everything you need and expect from this trilogy from the thrilling beginning, to the obligatory war scenes with incredible special effects and beautiful scenery of the shire. I would definitely recommend this as a treat to yourself this holiday – 4 out of 5 stars.
P.S. If you get a bit muddled up and you’re a hard-core fan, I would definitely recommend making a day of it and watching the first two films before heading off to the cinema to ensure you’re up to scratch with the names of the dwarves, all the legends and the back story that you’ll need when watching this. Enlist the help of your friends in your student accommodation; make your own home cinema and head on over to middle earth for 7 hours of Tolkien insanity. Then after that, although it is sad that the 12 years of new Tolkien films hype is over, don’t feel down because you will still need to go back and relive the Lord of the Rings trilogy to follow on from the film – it’s the perfect excuse for a weekend of lazy indulgence and procrastination this Christmas.
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Posted on 22nd December 2014 by Elinore Court.
Elinore Court lives at Liberty House in London, she is studying a masters degree in Magazine Journalism at City University.