The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (d. Peter Jackson USA/New Zealand 2014)

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (d.Peter Jackson USA/New Zealand 2014)


Please read ‘On Reviews‘ for a guide to how I write film reviews. Any spoilers are appropriately marked and, though I personally prefer to know little about a film before seeing it, there is a synopsis at the bottom for any who wish to see one.



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So the Hobbit continues. Almost needing no introduction, this final part of a three film series that was adapted from J. R. R. Tolkien‘s The Hobbit (A. Tolkein George Allen & Unwin UK 1937), was eagerly awaited by many. Success and possibilities thanks to the success of The Lord of the Rings (d. Peter Jackson USA/New Zealand 200120022003) and largely following a troupe of trilogies in recent years and considering Jackson is behind the helm of all three films (First two: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (d. Peter Jackson USA/New Zealand 2012) and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (d. Peter Jackson USA/New Zealand 2013)) they all follow from his style and his tendencies, like giving them a sense of being epic and giving long running times (and then extending them later). Middle Earth is a world where Peter Jackson just can not escape! Finally Six films exploring this world. The events of The Desolation of Smaug seemed to take us right up to the end of the book with not much left to go. It seemed inevitable that the events would need to be fleshed out. This leaves The Battle of the Five Armies quite a few challenges.

Continuing straight from where The Desolation of Smaug finished, very quickly events unfold. It would feel as if too much happens to soon, ironically then continuing into something that takes too long to occur whilst skimming over some bits and completely omitting others. With the first two films some problems were established that needed to be resolved (SPOILER such as: the relationship brewing between Kili (Aidan Turner) and Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) that undermines the relationship between Arwen (Liv Tyler) and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) as well as Gandalf’s apparent knowledge of Sauron. We now also get some inconsistencies in Saruman’s character, his betrayal in The Lord of the Rings is just ever more perplexing. END OF SPOILERS) Scenes and characters just aren’t fleshed out enough, a particular shame considering how well the dwarves started off. Though, Alfrid (Ryan Gage) we see too much of. The film also cannot seem to escape the corrupting powers of the Ring, with some moments seeming more fitting for The Lord of the Rings than The Hobbit. Thranduil‘s (Lee Pace) depiction seems a bit odd. More and more he seems to represent everything bad about Elves.

With each actor giving the most out of what is given, every performance is consistently good. Despite the problems with Tauriel and Kili they work really well in performance. With everything that goes on The Battle of the Five Armies does stay entertaining throughout. The use of CGI is consistent with the other films but the use of cinematography is slightly more ambitious as characters moments of insanity and ethereal nature are depicted with a creative flair. This is also a film where the fight scenes show more reliance upon CGI than the more realistic choreography. This may be their intentions if we were to consider that the CGI appears silly and over the top, but would not sit well with other elements of the film.

All in all this was a very entertaining film and a good way to conclude the three Hobbit films. However, those who loved The Lord of the Rings films may feel a bit robbed, as if it could have been so much better. The new approach, which started with  An Unexpected Journey, just doesn’t seem to fit well. CGI isn’t always the answer, bigger isn’t always better and adding things and changing things isn’t always the way forward.  


After Thorin and company rouse the dragon, Smaug, he flies back onto Lake Town and the release of the dragon causes armies to gather to conquer the Lonely Mountain.

Further Reading

Official Site

Benedict Cumberbatch’s Site

Ian McKellen’s Site

Evangeline Lilly’s Site

Richard Armitage’s Unofficial Site

Lee Pace’s Site

Aidan Turner’s Site

Sylvester McCoy’s Site

Stephen Fry’s Site

Christopher Lee’s Site

The Desolation of Smaug

Interview with the Cast and Crew

Interview with Richard Armitage

Interview with Director and Cast

Differences and Departures

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