The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) – Film Review

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five ArmiesThe Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage

Directed by Peter Jackson, based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien

IMDB Rating: 8.0

The Hobbit trilogy comes to an end in one big monumental fight! It’s these great wars that made the original Lord of the Rings films, but more was needed if The Hobbit was going to reach those levels.

After Smaug escapes from the mountain (and is quickly killed, sorry if I spoilt the surprise!), everyone looks at the gold-filled mountain as a source of wealth and power, causing armies from across the land to fight over it – including Sauron’s horde of Orcs.

First of all I would like to point out that I am not the biggest fan of either The Hobbit or The Lord Of the rings Series. The main problem with these movies for me was the length – they all felt like they dragged on. The last Hobbit film, The Desolation of Smaug, was a particularly overrun film. The Battle of the Five Armies ends just shy of 2 1/2 hours, nearly 20 minutes less than its predecessor, and doesn’t drag nearly as much. Half of this film – if not more – is ‘the battle’, much less travelling around (but still loads of landscape shots). That definitely makes the film more exciting from the start but it does get to the point where you’ve seen so many slashes that it all becomes a bit same’y. Some of the fights are also pretty unbelievable (and not in a good way) – there’s a scene in the film where Legolas steps from falling stone to falling stone climbing back up to his opponent, and in the cinema I’m sure there were more quiet laughs than anything else. I understand that it’s all fantasy and what-not, but surely J.R.R. Tolkien didn’t mean for elves to defy gravity? (correct me if I’m wrong!)

All the acting performances were okay, and up to the levels of the previous films. I’ve never really liked Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins – I find myself always seeing him in his role in The Office (UK) TV series, so it’s hard to take him too seriously. It is worth noting however that he convinced me more in this film than in The Desolation of Smaug. A lot of the dialogue sounds like something from a Shakespeare play, and it is all performed and projected in the same way – all to a credible standard by the rest of the cast.

Again, like in many of the other Middle Earth films – all directed by Peter Jackson – the film relies on the scenery and the CGI as much as anything else. The films have won many fans simply on the look of the environment and again The Battle of the Five Armies takes you on an adventure across beautiful terrain. The rest of the shots seem in order, if not spectacular. The fight scenes are okay, if not entirely believable.

All in all, to me it just feels like another Hobbit film – something that has failed to captivate me like it has some people. It hasn’t tried to do anything that we haven’t seen in other Middle Earth films, which you might see as a good thing!

Seen The Battle of the Five Armies? Tell us what you thought!

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