…Come to Journey’s End
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” picks up exactly where its predecessor (“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug“) left off. Which makes it hard to review this film by itself, since it’s a small part of a much bigger story.
That being said, I’ll try my best.
The third installment of Peter Jackson’s epic interpretation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s original children’s book is easily the grandest of the trilogy.
In the course of one film, we make our way back through a journey that it took us the entire length of the previous two films to take, from the Lonely Mountain all the way back to the Shire, albeit with a few extra scars. But not before experiencing a battle between not one, not two (I think you know where this is going), but five armies, and witnessing the takedown of one seriously badass dragon (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch).
To put it simply, a lot happens.
The true strength of this film, and a specialty of Peter Jackson, is that in the midst of this huge story with a million moving parts, it never loses sight of the human aspect of the story. It’s never just an action flick, or just a war movie. It’s a story about people (and hobbits, elves, and dwarves).
Of course, at it’s heart this is a movie about a hobbit (as the title would suggest), Bilbo Baggins, to be specific. I’ve said it in my reviews of the first two films, but it bears repeating. It’s nearly impossible to imagine anyone else coming close to the performance given by Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins. The evolution of his performance has been amazing to watch as Freeman has transformed Bilbo from a humorous, light-hearted hobbit into a character that doesn’t look completely out of place on a battlefield.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Ian McKellen’s performance as Gandalf. McKellen’s Gandalf has been a constant between all six films of “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogies. He’s imparted his words of wisdom, redefined the definition of action-star, and essentially been our guide through Middle-earth. He is, and always will be Gandalf.
This trilogy has not been without its flaws. The use of three 2 and 1/2 hour (and then some) films to tell this rather short, and simple story has been called into question by many. However, now that we’ve reached the end of our tale, it seems unimportant.
At the end of the day, could the story have been told well in two, or even one film? Yes.
But it’s hard to complain when the additional two films allowed us to spend just a few more hours in the Middle-earth that Tolkien dreamed of, and Peter Jackson brought to life.
There’s really only one more thing to say. It’s been a fantastic journey. Thank you for allowing us to tag along.
…just for fun:
Posted on December 23, 2014, in Film, Review and tagged Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Evangeline Lilly, Hugo Weaving, Ian Holm, Ian McKellan, Martin Freeman, Orlando Bloom, Peter Jackson, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.