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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Posted on January 26, 2015 at 6:25 AM

It has been a long journey to the final instalment of The Hobbit.

The Desolation of Smaug ended with the dragon descending on Lake Town. The opening scenes of The Battle of the Five Armies leaves no room to catch your breath. And there are yet more enemies on the horizon. Having travelled many treacherous miles to the Lonely Mountain, Bilbo and his companions must now defend the ancient home of the dwarves* from those whom would lay their claim.

Voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, the dragon was truly terrifying. The rest of the cast, which included names such as Martin Freeman (Bilbo), Hugo Weaving (Elrond), Orlando Bloom (Legalos), Stephen Fry (Master of Lake Town) and Cate Blanchet (Galadriel), gave a brilliant and authentic performance. The exception being Billy Connolly (Dain), which is possibly the worst casting decision made since Pierce Brosnan in Mumma Mia. There was too much Billy and not enough character: the least he could have done is cursed in Dwarvish^. Amongst such a stellar cast, his appearance broke out of Middle Earth and crashed back into the real world.

The CGI work was incredible: from the dreadful face of the dragon, to the sweeping background of a desolate battlefield. The stunt work and scene choreography brought the battles to life: aside from a few moments, in which even an elf with Legalos’ skill, were far-fetched aerobatics.

Earlier criticisms have been made of The Hobbit being three movies, rather than one epic, which again, forced the film makers to pad-out the movie with ridiculous side stories and events that never happened in the book. (What can you expect when the book describes the battle in two sentences?!) There is much to be said about the power of money making when it comes to the intergity of a story.

The Battle of the Five Armies makes for a (mostly) satisfying end to the story. Its final moments create a pleasing symmetry bringing franchise to a full circle- there and back again.

Three Stars ***

 ^Yes, that is the way you spell the book!

Categories: Movie Reviews

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