The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies is the final installment of Hobbit films from Peter Jackson and is the conclusion that all the fans have been just waiting to see. The film sees all the cast from the previous films return such as Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, Benedict Cumberbatch, James Nesbitt, Manu Bennett and many more as well as some new cast such as Billy Connolly who appears in the film for a moment.
What’s happening in this film is that Bilbo and all of the rest of his of Dwarves must maintain and hold the lonely mountain following the exit of Smaug. But not only do they have to defend the mountain from Smaug, but other forces such as Elves and Orcs have claims to the mountain’s treasure and also find its defensive position appealing. As the title suggest, five armies converge outside the mountain and we see them do battle. It’s very chaotic and it’s the most action filled part of The Hobbit trilogy and maybe even out of all of Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth films.
Those that love to travel to the cinema to see awesome action sequences, massive battle scenes and big armies getting into fights will love The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies. The film literally has it all in there for those people and in fact according to IMDB’s trivia on the the film, the battle lasts in total for 45 minutes of the films run time, that’s a long battle on screen! Some of the action sequences are quite well choreographed as well, I particularly liked all of the action scenes which Azog (Manu Bennett) appeared in. Other characters who are interesting to see when they fight are Thorin who’s played by Richard Armitage and the appearance of Smaug and all the chaos he was causing at the start of the film was also great to see.
One of the things that I really enjoyed about this film and have enjoyed from all the previous films is the high frame rate that these films do have. I found that when I was watching this final Hobbit film that I had become used to seeing the films presented in that way and actually I now believe that it is the best way to watch them. It’s the way Peter Jackson wanted us to see his creation of these films and I think that the sharpness and realism that the high frame rate brings to the hobbit really does set these films out as something visually unique in the cinema.
For me all of the Orcs look really great on screen and I liked the visuals that were given to Azog (Manu Bennett) in the film. The Orcs looked incredibly ugly but very threatening at the same time. As in the last film I also like the visual effects that went into creating Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) as that dragon just looks great on screen. Other things as well such as the sets that the characters are in such as the Shire location or even some of the small towns and all the things that were created to fit into that small town or the shire really count I think when it comes to the realism of the world of Middle Earth. The costume design and the detail that went into everyone’s outfits is also worth a mention, with so many characters to create it must of been difficult. Being the final film from Peter Jackson when it comes to anything Middle Earth related means that seeing this final film in the cinema will make it a special moment to have as there are no more after this one.
For those who are looking for a film similar to the previous two that were before this that contained much more talking and plotting might be a bit disappointed with this one as this film really at its heart is action focused. Thinking back to the time when I read the book, I think this whole film is only 1 or two chapters and really focuses on the battle as the main spectacle. However I did feel with the film that there is an extended cut out there somewhere for when it comes to Blu-Ray/DVD that fills in a lot of talking points. There are a few characters here and there that I don’t know how they got there or where they end up and I felt that some of it was cut down to be shorter. Even though it’s already 2 and half hours long, I felt there was something more to it than what we got in this theatrical version.
The thing that I really like about these Middle Earth films is the characterisation of the main the characters and I particularly like to see how they change over the course of time as struggles or sometimes success comes to them. Thorin in the film as a character who always sought out from the beginning to claim his birthright and become the Dwarf King under the mountain struggles with the riches he now has and is easily corrupted just as the old kings. He really does struggle with his identity and changing into his new role as the King. But the main character of the Hobbit who the whole film is named after starts standing up for himself much more. While Bilbo (Martin Freeman) has always been quiet and small, in this he’s not afraid to stand up to Thorin (Richard Armitage), Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and even Thranduil (Lee Pace) at times, it’s great to see happen.
The final thing that I would like to mention about the film is the sound and the music. These Peter Jackson Middle Earth films have some of the best musical scores of any films out there and the sound effects are perfect. In all these Hobbit films the music creates the perfect atmosphere for what’s happening on screen every single time and often things like a horn being blown in battle or someone just taking their sword out have sound effects that are both powerful and make good use of the cinema’s sound systems.
Overall The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies is a joy to watch for any fan of Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth films out there and as the last film that Peter Jackson will bring, I can’t see any reason for people not to see this in the cinema when it releases. While it’s more action based than the previous films, the special effects and the sounds will easily entertain anyone looking for that type of experience and for me the films run time passed by so quick that I can’t wait to see if there is an extended cut. The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies is a good solid action packed Middle Earth experience with a lot in there to entertain the fans and it’s definitely something worth going to see this year, as it’s the last time we’ll get to see Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth on screen.