The Finale to a Prequel Trilogy
By Matthew McKenna
Peter Jackson, director of The Lord of The Rings trilogy, ends the trilogy with an epic finale. “The Hobbit and The Battle of The Five Armies,” based off of J. R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” is clearly one of the best movies of 2014, boasting a few Oscar nominations on its belt.
This movie has great performances by Martin Freeman as the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, Richard Armitage as the dwarf Thorin Oakenshield, and everyone’s favorite wizard Gandalf played by Sir Ian McKellen. Luke Evans as Bard, Orlando Bloom as Legolas, and the rest of the dwarf company also continue their roles with charm, passion, and excitement.
The movie immediately continues from the second movie, “The Hobbit and The Desolation of Smaug,” where Smaug, a ferocious dragon, begins to burn Laketown to ashes with his fire breath. Bard kills the mighty beast with his archery skills and black arrow, the only weapon strong enough to pierce Smaug’s hide. Looking for shelter, Bard takes the survivors to the village of Dale outside the Lonely Mountain and seeks the aid of Thorin who made a promise yet caused so much suffering.
Thorin refuses to help because he has gone mad with jealousy over the treasures in the mountain and also seeking a jewel that would give him the right to rule.
Gandalf has his troubles from the last movie but soon comes to the aid of his friends.
Elves show up to aid the humans with food and supplies in hopes of forming an alliance so that he can get valuable items from the mountain.
Unsurprisingly with Thorin’s madness, he chooses to go to war even though he is overwhelmingly outnumbered.
Before any battle can take place, the orcs led by the primary antagonist Azog, the Defiler intends to take the mountain for his kind and slaughter everyone in the process. From there, the rest of the movie is a continuous battle of epic proportions. The battles were reminiscent of “Lord of the Rings, Return of the King.”
The ending of the film is satisfactory and explicitly toys with the emotions of the audience during the last half hour.
This movie was fantastic overall. The major battle scenes were intense and enjoyable. So enjoyable you wanted to join in on the action. There was also a fair amount of humor in the movie, which lifted the tension from time to time.
The actors did a phenomenal job at their portrayals. Peter Jackson does a great job of connecting this final prequel to its follow up trilogy, The Lord of The Rings.
The armor designs were also impressive.
The only downsides to this movie are that it relies way too heavily on special effects making it feel a bit dull from time to time. It doesn’t feel as realistic as it did in “The Lord of The Rings The Return of The King,” where they had much more extras than CGI. It also didn’t have an epic continuous, and frankly, sometimes overwhelming uninterrupted action as the others had. It would have also been good to see more of Bilbo in action and more insight into how he handles war.
This movie deserves a good rating for its brilliant book turned into big budget Hollywood film. It gets 8 arkenstones out of 10. It’s definitely worth the watch.