The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Plot Summary:
Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and many other heroes are forced to engage in a war against an array of combatants and keep the Lone Mountain from falling into the hands of a rising darkness.
As a passionate Tolkien fan, for the past two or so years I have found myself looking forward to the latest Hobbit installment. Unfortunately, each year I find myself disappointed. This year’s The Battle of Five Armies was no exception. The biggest qualm I have with Peter Jackson and his second Middle Earth trilogy is that I personally believe that The Hobbit should not have been three separate movies. It could have feasibly been a successful stand-alone film or even two films. After all, we know that people will sit through a four-hour film if it is entertaining. With The Hobbit being three films it was to no one’s surprise that part three would be one long battle scene with an attempt at a poignant closing. The Battle of the Five Armies was exactly that minus the poignant closing. Now, if I had wanted to watch a two-hour long battle scene I would have just watched the Helms Deep sequence in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers versus paying $20 to just see Legolas kill orcs. Again.
As I mentioned in last year’s Hobbit review, The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a cinematic masterpiece. The Hobbit trilogy on the other hand is a trio of fun, action-packed films suited for today’s superhero-flick loving moviegoers. Battle of the Five Armies isn’t abysmal. It’s just lacking. Some of the key components that made the Lord of the Rings films so memorable and enchanting just can’t be found in this film. Most notably Howard Shore’s lush score, which helped set the tone for Jackson’s Middle Earth. Five Armies also fails as a stand alone epic, it more so functions as a direct continuation of last year’s The Desolation of Smaug, which is perfectly fine however, what made this films’ predecessors so wonderful was their ability to stand on their own.
Each of the film’s actors performs well in their respective role. The film has a brilliant cast unfortunately viewers aren’t given much of a chance to witness such talent as the actors were given more stunts than lines. Yet Orlando Bloom continues to swing his gold locks as Legolas, Martin Freeman shines as Bilbo Baggins and Lee Pace excels as the villainous Elven Lord Thranduil. Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Ian McKellen and Hugo Weaving all reprise their Tolkien roles and do so just as beautifully. Richard Armitage gives the most stirring performance of the film portraying the tormented Thorin Oakenshield.
Though long and tiresome, the film’s battle sequences are nothing short of outstanding and audiences can expect plenty of intense special effects, explosions and a generous amount of violence. While I am going to avoid spoilers for readers who aren’t familiar with the book adaptation of The Hobbit, I will mention that Mr. Jackson isn’t afraid of mercilessly killing off characters. But, then again that can only be expected from a film titled “The Battle of the Five Armies.”
Bottom Line: This year’s Hobbit film and Peter Jackson’s last cinematic journey to Tolkien’s Middle Earth is entertaining. Entertaining yet not magical or captivating. But, if one is a Tolkien fan there is simply no way to avoid seeing this film as it is.
Mallory Delchamp is a writer, model, and performer living in Manhattan. You can routinely read her film and music reviews here on Pop-Break and you can also check out her work on zumic.com and nytheatreguide.com. A social media and pop culture enthusiast, Mallory also enjoys musical theatre, superhero films, and drinking coffee. You can visit Mallory at her website, www.mallorydelchamp.com