Review of 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies'

the_hobbit_the_battle_of_the_five_armies.jpg So, here we are, the final chapter in the massively-inflated Hobbit trilogy. For those of you that have not been paying attention, the story so far: Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), a hobbit from the shire, has joined a group of Dwarves headed by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) who are seeking to reclaim their home (stacked with treasure) in “The Lonely Mountain” with the main problem being it has been taken by a dragon - Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) - who is not so keen on giving up his new home. In the meantime, there is some seriously odd “dark magic” business going on with a “necromancer” (Benedict Cumberbatch again) who appears to be in league with Sauron (not really appearing in this series though - check out Lord of the Rings for more details) much to the upset of Gandalf, the wizard (Ian McKellen).

In Battle of the Five Armies we see the wrath of Smaug against the people of Lake-town and the aftermath as the elves (seeking to reclaim the treasure they believe was stolen from them), orcs (seeking to kill everyone and anyone), and dwarves (seeking to help their kin in the defence of the mountain) all vie for control over the wealth in the Lonely Mountain. We are talking SERIOUSLY big battles here. Thorin appears to have succumbed to the sickness of his predecessors – seeming to forget not only his promise to the people of Lake-town but also his honour – which may lead everyone to a very sticky end indeed. Bilbo and Gandalf have their work cut out for them if they want to avoid catastrophe…

I have to first say, I saw this in 3D HFR (“high frame rate”) and I was absolutely blown away by the experience - Incredibly realistic as it drew me into the story. So realistic that I heard someone saying behind me that it did not look “right” - Indeed, with the normal frame rate of movies that everyone is used to seeing, this higher rate takes some getting used to but, believe me, it is worth your time. To top it off, in 3D you really can't see this film any better (yes, even better than IMAX).

I do not need to talk about the effects - See it, believe it. Done.

While most of the film consists of massive battle scenes interspersed with more personal one-on-one battles there is still time here to concentrate on characters with the camera often focused on one character for several moments without dialogue to get a sense of what they are feeling - It is very effective and very refreshing to see such care taken in what, let's face it, is serious popcorn fodder.

The story is quite good but probably has sent many a die-hard Tolkien fan into cardiac arrest. Lighten up and enjoy the ride…

Amazing spectacle with a side order of character. Absolutely incredible.

Rating:

Review Date: 2014-12-17


Directed by: Peter Jackson

Studio: New Line Cinema

Year: 2014

Length: 144 minutes

Genre: Fantasy

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2310332/


Other reviewed films by Peter Jackson: