The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

The dragon Smaug destroys Laketown, while Tauriel escorts Fili, Kili, Oin, Bofur and Bard’s children out of the burning town on a boat. Bard breaks out of his prison cell and kills Smaug with the black arrow, and the dragon’s falling corpse crushes and kills the fleeing Master of Laketown. The survivors choose Bard as their new leader, who then decides the Laketown people should head for the ruins of Dale for refuge. Kíli confesses his love for Tauriel, and he and the other Dwarves journey to reunite with their company at the Lonely Mountain while Tauriel travels to investigate Mount Gundabad with Legolas. Upon arriving at Erebor, they are informed by Bilbo that Thorin has been afflicted with Smaug’s “dragon sickness” as he searched for the Arkenstone. It is revealed that Bilbo actually stole the Arkenstone from Smaug but knows it should be hidden from Thorin.

Meanwhile, Galadriel arrives at Dol Guldur, frees Gandalf and lifts the fortress’ spell of concealment. The Ringwraiths then reveal themselves and converge on Galadriel and the wounded Gandalf. Elrond and Saruman appear and battle the Ringwraiths while Radagast arrives and escorts Gandalf away. Sauron then comes forth and tries to tempt Galadriel, who casts Sauron and the Ringwraiths from the fortress. Saruman tells Elrond to take the weakened Galadriel to safety while he deals with Sauron. Gandalf leaves Radagast for Erebor to warn of the Orc army approaching the Lonely Mountain. Azog, marching on Erebor with his vast Orc army, sends Bolg to Mount Gundabad to summon their other army. Legolas and Tauriel witness the march of Bolg’s Orc army, bolstered by Goblins and giant bats.

While Bard and the Laketown survivors shelter in Dale, an elf army led by Thranduil arrives with supplies and aid. Thranduil forms an alliance with Bard, wishing to claim a necklace of white gems from the Mountain. In Erebor, Thorin commands the Dwarven company to ready for battle and presents Bilbo with a Mithril shirt. Bard travels to Erebor to negotiate and reason with Thorin, who refuses to listen or share any of the treasure. After Gandalf arrives at Dale, Bilbo sneaks out of Erebor to hand the Arkenstone over to Thranduil and Bard. The next day, Bard and Thranduil’s armies gather at the gates of Erebor, offering to trade the Arkenstone for gold. Thorin learns of Bilbo’s actions and almost kills him, before Gandalf makes Thorin release him and let him climb back down to Gandalf. Just before Thranduil’s and Bard’s forces begin their assault on Erebor, Thorin’s cousin Dáin arrives with Dwarf army. The Dwarf army prepares to attack the Elves and Men when Azog’s army makes its appearance, converging on Dale and the Dwarfs. With the Orcs outnumbering Dain’s army, Thranduil’s and Bard’s forces join the battle.

Inside Erebor, Thorin, refusing to fight, falls into a hallucinatory nightmare before finally regaining his sanity and leading his company into battle. While the other Dwarves of the company aid Dain’s forces, Thorin rides towards Ravenhill with Dwalin, Fíli, and Kíli to kill Azog and force the Orc army to retreat. Meanwhile, Tauriel arrives at Dale and tries to stop Thranduil from returning to Mirkwood, but is banished. Legolas and Tauriel leave to warn Thorin of Bolg’s approaching army with Bilbo following them using the ring.

At Ravenhill, Thorin, Fili, Kili and Dwalin fight a troop of Goblins shortly after Bilbo arrives and warns them of an attack. Thorin tells Fili and Kili to insepct a tower but Fili gets caught and killed by Azog. Tauriel tries to help Kili from Orcs, but Bolg ambushes and wounds her. Bolg is about to kill Tauriel when Kili comes to protect her, sacrificing himself in the process. Meanwhile, Thorin is fighting Azog while Legolas goes after Bolg to save Tauriel. While fighting Bolg, Legolas throws Orcrist to Thorin and saves the Dwarf King from Azog. Legolas then battles Bolg on top of a crumbling tower while Azog and Thorin fight on a frozen lake above them. After Legolas kills Bolg, Bilbo, who was knocked unconscious by an Orc, wakes to see the Great Eagles appear, carrying Radagast and Beorn into battle, after which the Orc armies are quickly decimated. Thorin kills Azog but is left mortally wounded in the process. He makes peace with Bilbo before dying.

On Thranduil’s suggestion, Legolas leaves to meet with a Dunedain ranger while Tauriel mourns Kili. Bilbo bids farewell to the remaining Dwarves and journeys home to the Shire with Gandalf. As the two part, Gandalf admits to his knowledge of the ring and cautions Bilbo he will be watching him. Bilbo’s story ends when he returns to Bag End to find his belongings being auctioned off by the Sackville-Bagginses, who assumed he died, though Bilbo clarifies his identity.

Sixty years later, Bilbo, while reflecting on the past journey, receives a visit from Gandalf and happily runs to greet his old friend

REVIEW:

One of the most anticipated films of the year, not just in the sci-fi/fantasy nerd community, but in terms of film in general has been The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, the thrilling conclusion to Peter Jackson’s (unnecessarily drug out) Hobbit trilogy. Being the final film in the franchise, one would expect it to go out with a bang, not to mention set the foundation, at least, for The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Is this mission accomplished, or were these 3 films nothing more than a cash grab?

What is this about?

Bilbo and Company 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.

What did I like?

Action packed finale. With the recent release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, part I, we are reminded about how downright dull a film cane be while waiting for the big payoff finale flick. No saying that The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was anywhere near as boring, but it wasn’t the finale that delivered on most levels as this one does. As a matter of fact, the last hour or so is nothing but a giant battle among the titular 5 armies. Are you telling me that isn’t exciting?!?

Thorin vs. Azgog. Staying on the topic of action and satisfying conclusions, we finally get the final showdown between Thorin and Azgog. As one can imagine, the rivalry between these that has been building up over the previous films comes to glorious fruition as these two don’t pull any punches and give us a an epic battle that is sure to be remembered for years to come.

Comedy bits. Inflections of comedy are always welcome, especially in more serious films so as to break the tension. There are a couple of comic relief characters in this film but they are mostly forgettable. The comedy gold comes from the subtle sight gags, one liners, and/or situations that our heroes manage to find themselves in. I can appreciate the subtle use of comedy, even if some people probably think this should be a super serious flick akin to the original trilogy.

What didn’t I like?

Little Hobbit. Here’s something worth noting, the titular Hobbit is barely in this film, or the last one for that matter. If he was going to play such a minor role, not to mention all the changes and additions to the original book, shouldn’t they have just renamed this something to do with the dwarves?

Sauron, is that you? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe we get Sauron in the book. Obviously, this was done to create some type of origin and tie-in, which I would be fine with, except it didn’t feel natural. That whole scene to me felt like it was filmed at the last minute and randomly spliced in, but perhaps I missed something during the time I had to run out and answer my phone (don’t give me that look, it was my mother!) Maybe when I watch this again in the future, it will make more sense.

Did we really need 3 films? If I had to sum this film up in a phrase it would be “one big battle” because, as I mentioned earlier, most of the film is a giant battle. There really isn’t much of a story to be told here, that was all done in the fist film. Yes, they could have put these three films into one and wouldn’t have hurt anything. I bet it would be closer to the source material that way, as well. Of course, had that have happened, then studios wouldn’t have made 3x the amount of money they would have with just one picture and the exec who is driving around in a 2014 Porsche can now afford to get a 2015 Porsche. Ugh!

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is a film of epic scheme and scope that accomplishes what it sets out to do, entertain the audience, tell a good story, and placate director Peter Jackson’s ego and obsession with Middle-Earth. While this is perhaps the shortest film in this saga, I still found it unnecessarily long, with a good 30 minutes or so that could have been left on the cutting room floor. Still, I did have a good time watching and believe that most who will take the time to check this out won’t be disappointed. Go watch and have fun!

4 out of 5 stars

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One Response to “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”

  1. Mystery Man Says:

    Reblogged this on Mr Movie Fiend's Movie Blog.

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