FINALLY the final instalment in the Lord Of The Rings franchise is here (for now anyway!) Peter Jackson pulls out all the stops for this explosive series finale that closes the book on the Hobbit’s journey through middle earth for this generation (until WB finds some way to milk it more!) I know it sounds like I’m being cynical but studios keep doing it and it really REALLY irks me! But I digress…
The Hobbit : The Battle Of Five Armies continues directly after the events of the previous film, Smaug descends on Lake Town and covers it in fire and destroys everything. Fortunately hunky dad dwarf spears the beast and kills it…talk about your anti-climax! From there the rest of the villagers attempt to travel to the mines to claim their share of the gold to rebuild, meanwhile the Elvish army lead by Orlando Bloom’s dad stake their claim on their elvish heirloom’s stored in the mine, but not while the white orc summon’s his army to storm the mines and results in all out war for ownership of the mine.
It is not all bad though, there is an epic mountain top battle starring Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee and that other old guy against the wraiths and results in probably the best part of the film. It could have easily ended there and I would have been happy to farewell Middle Earth after this. A sensible two and half hours running time was put on this film and it felt like the perfect length. Smaug was gorgeous, the effects and features mixed with Cumberbatch’s voice was the perfect combination…so the bad?
Orlando Bloom has stacked it on as fat face Legolas, he must of gone on Weight Watchers between this film and The Two Towers, his “acting” is horrific and fight scenes are video game laughable. For a film titled “The Hobbit” Bilbo was barely in it and felt like a bystander while everyone else got the spotlight. The Five Armies got a little confusing as to who was fighting who in the heavily CGI’ed fighting matches and while they were not as long and drawn on as The Two Towers, it still felt like slight overkill. Speaking of overkill, why did so many of the characters die? And they were the hot ones? The two young attractive dwarves are killed off mercilessly, as is the hot dwarf king. Thanks Mr. Jackson, thank you very much!
Overall this film felt like a mixed bag, it was a well constructed story and a definite sense of finale for this series, seeing Gandalf ride away from The Shire at the end was gut-wretchingly sad and while it may have felt like an extended version of the second film, there was still enough here to flesh out a whole movie and satisfy middle earth fans. Fans of the series will relish in the story, other’s may find themselves a drift. The Hobbit : The Battle Of The Five Armies is playing in cinemas now
Review by Alaisdair Dewar
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