So I finally got to see the third and final instalment of The Hobbit! I was so excited to see it and I have to say I did enjoy it but I was a little bit disappointed at times considering this was meant to be a huge ending to the trilogy. I will try and not give anything away however I think the things I will be criticising won't ruin the film too much for you anyway but I will put [SPOILER] in parts where I think things could be a bit risky to talk about.
But here's a bit of background first. As aforementioned, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is the final film of the entire Hobbit trilogy following An Unexpected Journey (2012) and The Desolation of Smaug (2013) and it's directed by Peter Jackson, based on the novel itself The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. It picks up from the last film (The Desolation of Smaug) and it shows Smaug the dragon completely destroying Laketown by incinerating it while Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and the Dwarves watch in despair from the Lonely Mountain. Smaug the dragon still scared me as much as he did in the last film and Benedict Cumberbatch does a fantastic job of voicing him so terrifyingly [SPOILER] but eventually Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans) breaks out of imprisonment and pierces Smaug's heart with a special arrow. Eventually the remaining Dwarves in Laketown join the others in the Lonely Mountain and Thorin (Richard Armitage) becomes obsessed and inflicted with Smaug's 'dragon sickness' while he searches for the Arkenstone and defends his piles of gold. To protect themselves from the folk of Laketown, the elves (led by Thranduil played by Lee Pace) and the orcs, Thorin orders the Dwarves to build a blockade at the entrance of Erebor when all hell breaks loose outside.
That's as much description as I can give without giving too much away. But here's my review of the film and I'll be as detailed and honest as possible but here's where things get a little jumbled for me as both my enjoyment and irritation with this film get mixed up. The special effects are pretty fantastic when it comes to Smaug, sweeping scenes of the lands or shots of the fight itself. It was a visually beautiful film if we ignore the storyline accompanied with incredible music that really builds up the emotion and tension of the film.
The Hobbit wasn't really about the hobbit himself, Bilbo and instead became all about the fascinating figure that is Thorin Oakenshield. Maddened by his new sense of power, the gold, the jewels and the search for the Arkenstone and not knowing that Bilbo himself has it in his possession really brings the best out of Richard Armitage. The unlikely but sweet friendship between Bilbo and Thorin becomes stretched as Bilbo struggles with keeping the precious item to himself while Thorin becomes more and more insane. The acting from Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage was absolutely fantastic, especially in the scenes with just the two of them and these are by far the most engaging and tense ones without all the action. I'd say those scenes definitely overshadow the entire battle itself.
Armitage as Thorin was one of the best things I've ever seen as he portrayed the madness taking over Thorin perfectly. [SPOILER] Even when Thorin tries to throw Bilbo to his death after finding he has the Arkenstone, it's horribly violent and brutal because you find yourself rooting for the pair of them. Not only that, when he finally shakes off the madness and joins the others in battle and [SPOILER] ultimately dies in Bilbo's arms, we feel so emotionally invested in this character that you can't help shedding a few tears; it truly becomes the story of Thorin Oakenshield as well as Bilbo's. [SPOILER] Also the deaths of Kili (played the beautiful Aidan Turner) and his brother Fili (Dean O'Gorman) were equally jarring and horrible, I certainly cried a lot.
Luke Evans didn't get enough screen time as far as I'm concerned but his scenes as Bard the Bowman were strong especially when he reluctantly took on the role of being a leader for his people. Ian McKellan (Gandalf the Grey), Orlando Bloom (Legolas) and Evangeline Lilly (Tauriel) also strengthened the film in their own scenes but Peter Jackson gives them all very anti-climatic endings unfortunately.
The only problem I had with one of the characters was Tauriel played by Evangeline Lilly. I enjoyed her performance as her character is a fantastic fighter but being one of the few women in this heavily male driven film, she was placed in a stupid love triangle between her, Kili and Legolas. I don't mind it too much because the scenes between her and Kili were beautiful and [SPOILER] the emotion and grief of losing Kili was heart-wrenching to watch but again, I do think it wasn't very necessary to place the only woman, more or less, in battle in a love triangle. It's been done time and time again in many films before and I'm sick of seeing it but thankfully she wasn't a damsel in distress at all.
The ending was a little too anti-climatic for me because [SPOILER] once Thorin and the leader of the orcs died, everyone suddenly disappeared. Peter Jackson just randomly glosses over the fact there was fights going on everywhere but all of that suddenly doesn't matter when the two leaders died. I don't mind because I do love a good action film and the battle scenes were terrific as usual, there was stunning cinematography and the tragic ending did tie the Hobbit stories to the Lord of the Rings but it was just tied up a little too lazily for me. It was little underwhelming but I'd definitely it's still worth seeing to take that journey through Middle Earth one last time.
Here's the trailer:
Have you seen it? What did you think of it?
Thankyou for reading.