Howdy people, time for an important film review in the form of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. It has been a long journey to the end of the Hobbit trilogy, the first film I liked a lot and the second film I liked a fair amount too, and now we have the final film in the series. I think that my interest in this film and the series has waned a fair amount since last year and I’m not sure why, but whatever it was, it wasn’t going to stop me from seeing this film. So how does The Battle of the Five Armies fare? Read on and find out.
The storyline in nutshell goes like this:
“Bilbo and Company are forced to engage in a war against an array of combatants and keep the terrifying Smaug from acquiring a kingdom of treasure and obliterating all of Middle-Earth.”
The story in this film was serviceable. It done the job of tieing up all the loose ends from the previous films and leading us into the Lord of the Rings films. The film has a strong start continuing off from the last film, but then gets kind of boring with all the standing and talking, the pace felt very slow at times and my interest was dropping until the action picked up. My favourite moments of the film involved stories relating to Bilbo, Thorin and Gandalf, everyone else was either decent or uninteresting. There were times where it felt like there were too many things going on, with separate sets of characters in different locations, dealing with individual issues, just hopping forward and back continuously was kind of annoying, I just wanted to stay in one scene for longer than five minutes. I also can’t help but feel a sense of dissatisfaction for the way that this film turned out, the way Smaug was handled was very anti-climatic and disappointing, some of the ties to Lord of the Rings felt a bit too on the nose and forced and none of the epic moments in the film felt that breath-taking.
The cast do a good job, but some definitely stand out more so than others. Martin Freeman continues to be one of the strongest elements of this trilogy of films as Bilbo Baggins. His performance is fabulous as it is humourous, confident and engaging and I think it is the small moments where he does things subtly with his face that makes the most amount of difference. Richard Armitage is great as Thorin Oakenshield, in this film Thorin deals with psychological demons that really changes his persona, makes me paranoid, aggressive and distant from all of his comrades and Armitage does such a great job with his material. Sir Ian McKellen, once again brings his A game as Gandalf the Grey, McKellen is one of those actors who just makes me happy to be watching an actor at work, the man is all-powerful and has a screen presence that not many other people do. Whether he is delivering monologues or chilling smoking his pipe, the is all-round awesomeness. Also thanks to additional screen time Graham McTavish was even better as Dwalin and Aidan Turner does a good job Kíli. I missed James Nesbitt as Bofur, he deserved more screen time.
Orlando Bloom is once again good as Legolas, not as amazing as he was in the last film, but the guy still had some awesome moments and it seems like Bloom was having fun being a badass in this film. Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel was good, she had some cool action scenes and acted well, but I didn’t care for character as much as before. Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman was good, while his character is one of the people I cared for least, as a leader and one of the more vocal people in the battle for the Lonely Mountain he was pretty good. Lee Pace I liked more in this film as Thranduil and Pace was put to better use here than he was in Guardians of the Galaxy to a degree. I also enjoyed seeing Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Hugo Weaving as Elrond and Christopher Lee as Saruman the White. Oh and quick shout out to Billy Connolly as Dáin, he was cool.
When it comes to the presentation, it is impressive, however, it isn’t perfect by any means. The cinematography is nice and the action sequences are vast, vivid, detailed and visually beautiful, especially with the use of CGI on Smaug and the large masses of combatants on the battlefield. That being said, the way some of these camera movements are done didn’t feel necessary and the overuse of CGI made it easy to notice the difference scenes and the not so detailed scenes. At times the CGI made the film feel very artificial and felt no different from watching a super impressive pre-rendered cut scene in a video game. The score from Howard Shore is good and covers all emotional basis with new material and ties to Lord of the Rings too, that being said there is nothing that stands out that I will remember from this film.
In conclusion The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is a satisfactory conclusion to this trilogy of films. I can’t deny that I was left a bit disappointed by this film, the story was good, the performances were great and the action was awesome, but none of it wowed me or felt new. If you loved the last Hobbit films then you’ll love this one, but for everyone else this film is a good ending, but not one that is amazing.
Rating: 7/10 (a decent finish to a decent trilogy)
So what did you think of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies? Was it better, on-par or worst than the last instalment and what do you think of the Hobbit trilogy in general? Whatever your thoughts are, be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next film review. Laters! 😀