Synopsis: Thorin Oakenshield and the Dwarves of Erabor have reclaimed the vast wealth of their homeland, but now face the consequences of having unleashed the terrifying Dragon Smaug upon Lake-town. Meanwhile Suran, the Dark Lord, has sent forth legions of Orcs to attack the Lonely Mountain, and Bilbo Baggin’s finds himself fighting for his life as five great armies go to war. As darkness converges, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide – unite or be destroyed.
Review: To describe this film as epic would be a huge disservice to the LOTR trilogy and the two films that preceded and lets be honest. There are only so many words left in the English dictionary that we can use to describe these huge films.
This is definitely the strongest entry into the Hobbit films and thankfully it does not sag slightly in the middle like the second film did.
The first fifteen or so minutes of the film deal with the slaying of Smaug the dragon and admittedly I was kind of sad to see him go give that I enjoyed his scenes with Bilbo and the Dwarves in the previous film.
With his home of Erabor won. You’d think that would be the end of Thorin Oakenshield’s story, but no such luck. Debts are owed to the elves and the good folk of Lake-Town, who helped him and his Dwarves reclaim their home, but Thorin, who is driven mad with gold fever doesn’t see things that way. Which begins a conflict between him the folk of Lake-Town and the Elves, which throws the whole of middle earth into grave danger because while they fight among themselves the greater threat of Surans Orc armies stands ready to capitalise on the chaos.
The acting performances in this trilogy of films have been brilliant and Richard Armitage as Thorin has been strong throughout, but he has to pull something a little extra special out of the bag for this outing as he shows us a selfish Thorin, who only cares for the gold and not a jot for anything else. His madness has totally consumed him and Armitage did a fantastic job of selling that to the audience. I honestly didn’t think he was going to snap out of it. So when he did it was a real genuine moment, which made his final scenes all the more special and sad.
Much like the previous two Hobbit movies. Seeds are sewn in this that lead into the Fellowship Of The Ring, which kicks off the LOTR trilogy. A nice moment is near the end where Legolas (Orlando Bloom) is told to seek out a human ranger known only as strider.
The film concludes pretty much exactly where Fellowship Of The Rings picks up.
As with the previous films the combination of model work and CGI is off the chart. Its hardly surprising that Weta Workshop is now the go to place for movies that require both computer generated and physical effects. Their work on both Lord Of The Ring’s trilogies has been mesmerizing. I look forward to extended edition of this film where we get to see how Weta developed some of the key scenes in this huge battle of a movie.
Extras: As far extras go. They are mostly being saved for the Extended Edition, which comes out later this year, but there is a pretty nice film included titled ‘Completing Middle Earth’, which sees Peter Jackson and his crew talking about their 17 – year journey from working on the LOTR films to their work on The Hobbit trilogy.
Also included is ‘Recruiting The Five Armies’, which looks at the casting process and work that was done to give us the epic battles within the film.
‘The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies‘ is out today on both DVD and Blu Ray in both 2D and 3D versions. The film is also available in streaming format on both Amazon and iTunes.
- Stunning visuals and great acting performances
- I'd loved to have had a bit more of Smaug
- CGI and Models10
- Sound Track10