Saturday, 20 December 2014

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

"One day I'll remember. Remember everything that happened: the good, the bad, those who survived... and those that did not." This sums up the final and defining chapter of the Middle Earth saga in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. This epic fantasy adventure film, directed by Peter Jackson and written by Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Guillermo del Toro. It is the third and final installment in the three-part film adaptation based on the novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, following An Unexpected Journey (2012) and The Desolation of Smaug (2013). The film centers on Bilbo and Company when they 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 third film was originally titled There and Back Again in August 2012. In April 2014, Jackson changed the title of the film to The Battle of the Five Armies as he thought the new title better suited the situation of the film. He stated on his Facebook page, "There and Back Again felt like the right name for the second of a two film telling of the quest to reclaim Erebor, when Bilbo’s arrival there, and departure, were both contained within the second film. But with three movies, it suddenly felt misplaced—after all, Bilbo has already arrived “there” in the Desolation of Smaug." Shaun Gunner, the chairman of The Tolkien Society, supported the decision: "‘The Battle of the Five Armies’ much better captures the focus of the film but also more accurately channels the essence of the story."

The film stars Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving and Orlando Bloom. The performances in this film were major improvements from the last film, finally seeing the true side and depth to the characters. Freeman gave an incredible performance. We see his journey from a hermit to an adventurous hobbit who learnt to step outside his shell. Thus coming back home to the Shire a changed hobbit. Armitage gave his best performance in the series. If viewed closely, one could view his character and performance reminiscent to Anakin Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith. Where he becomes consumed with greed. But unlike Anakin, he is able to realize early of how blind he had become and was not fully corrupted. Lilly also gave her best performance of the trilogy. Where we got to see her character truly, other than a ruthless killing machine, through her relationship with Killi. Evans gave his most physical performance yet. However, I felt we didn’t get to see the human side much as we did in The Desolation of Smaug. Cumberbatch gave another brilliant performance as the titular dragon, however his role was ‘stuck down’ rather quickly than expected. Which kind of made this installment a bit of a ‘bummer’.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is the best of the trilogy Mr. Jackson has directed. It is the richest and most challenging movie in the cycle. As well as being a relatively thoughtful story. Even if Jackson got bogged down in solemnity and theory in The Desolation of Smaug, the film is quicker-paced and action filled this time, and it proves just barely that it is a great piece of entertainment.

Simon says The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies receives:

See my review for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug at

1 comment:

  1. The trilogy has improved. Part one was sooooo slow