Sunday, 21 December 2014


Author J.R.R. Tolkien is no stranger to the literature community. His contribution to the world of fantasy and adventure has won the hearts of many avid book readers. His two most famous works are The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings which he wrote in the 1940s and 1950s. Filmmakers took the opportunity to capitalize on its popularity by adapting into film the three volumes from Lord of the Rings series in 2001, 2002, and 2003. Two years ago, The Hobbit (which is a prequel to the Lord of the Rings) was released in cinemas. The book was divided into three films which were released every subsequent year in 2012, 2013, and finally 2014.

After An Unexpected Journey (2012) and The Desolation of Smaug (2013), the final chapter hits the big screen with The Battle of the Five Armies. As usual, director Peter Jackson is at the helm just as he was on the previous two films and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Returning cast members include Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, and Orlando Bloom. The screenplay was written by Jackson, Fran Walsh, Phillippa Boyens, and Guillermo Del Toro.

Will the final chapter be a film of epic proportions? Do read on…

Martin Freeman is the lead role of the Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world. Enraged, Smaug rains his fiery wrath down upon the defenseless men, women and children of Lake-town. Obsessed above all else with his reclaimed treasure, Thorin sacrifices friendship and honor to hoard it as Bilbo's frantic attempts to make him see reason drive the Hobbit towards a desperate and dangerous choice. But there are even greater dangers ahead. Unseen by any but the Wizard Gandalf, the great enemy Sauron has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain. As darkness converges on their escalating conflict, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide – unite or be destroyed. Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his friends in the epic Battle of the Five Armies, as the future of Middle-earth hangs in the balance.

Actor Luke Evans (Bard) and Orlando Bloom (Legolas) in a scene from the film 
As the film is based on a novel, I believe the writers will stay true to the story’s plot. I have never read the book but to my knowledge, some characters were added to ‘spice’ up the film. Nevertheless, it would be tricky for the writers to make the script as interesting as possible. I am pleased to say that they did an excellent job. For a story which is set in a mythical fantasy land, the script manages to sustain my interest from scene to scene. The dialogue is not too complicated and far-fetched as one might expect but easily understandable throughout. Writing such a story material might result in isolating non-fans but it doesn’t. Everyone can relate to the story being told in the film. Good characterization for the roles. However, in order to understand the third film, you need to watch the first film An Unexpected Journey (2012) and The Desolation of Smaug (2013) to understand key plot points. There are some good thematic elements within like teamwork, bravery, and courage which was good.

Richard Armitage in a strong performance as Thorin Oakenshield
For an ensemble cast of stars, everyone shone in the film. It is very hard to single out one good performance but if I were to select one, it would be Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. His character was required to be the opposite of who he was in the first two films and he did this convincingly enough with his acting. Seeing veteran talented actors Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, and Christopher Lee together on-screen was certainly a delight.

Veteran British actor Ian McKellen as the wizard Gandalf the Grey
When watching a Peter Jackson directed film, one can expect epic and grand scale filmmaking. And just like his other film, he delivers. The cinematography was very good and could easily transport the audience to the world of the film. The editing was snappy. The visual effects was spectacular and functioned well in enhancing the story. Great music to keep the audience engage in certain scenes.

Director Peter Jackson and actor Martin Freeman on the set of the film
Good pacing from start to finish. For a film that is 144 minutes in duration, it did not feel that long.

A group of unlikely heroes and misfits set out to save their homeland from monstrous invaders and tyrants.

Evangelline Lilly as Tauriel 
If you don’t like fantasy action adventure films, this might not be your cup of tea.

For fans of the author and the series, you would like this film. Also, one does not need to be a fan of the books to like the film as the action adventure storyline is truly a delight.

Epic visual effects on a grand scale
In conclusion, the film lived up its expectations of grandeur and adventure!


8.5 out of 10