Running Time: 144 min
Director: Peter Jackson
Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Luke Evans, Lee Pace, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Aidan Turner,Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, Stephen Fry, Ken Scott
What "Star Wars" was to the 70's and 80's, "The Lord of the Rings" was to the 2000's: An instant world-wide pop culture phenomenon that spawned hundreds of millions of fans that rewatch the films over and over again and whose knowledge about the saga even goes beyond the movieverse. Yes, Peter Jackson put a book into film that was considered unfilmable for a long time, and when we look at the result, we can be happy The Beatles didn't succeed in making their planned adaptation with Paul as Frodo, Ringo as Sam, George as Gandalf, and John Lennon as Gollum.* Who knows what would have happened to "The Hobbit" then, the story that Jackson brought into cinemas 9 years after "The Return of the King". And a story whose epic conclusion is out in cinemas right now.
"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" is a great and worthy finale for this prequel trilogy. Obviously, the stakes aren't as high as in the "Rings movies", but looking at "The Hobbit" on its own, this third film really captures the tone of the franchise while still going darker. At the end of last year, we were left with a fire-breathing cliffhanger and as a result we get thrown right into the action this time. A lot of stuff happens at the beginning. Stuff that we probably thought would make up more of the whole film's story, and after a few calmer moments the movie comes right back with the event giving it its title. If the first film was all introduction, and the second part all storyline, then this film is all action. It is basically this one epic battle, but now that we have gotten to know all these characters, we have people to care about on multiple sides.
Martin Freeman has nailed his portrayal of Bilbo once more and especially at the end of the movie, gets to show that off. Richard Armitage does great as well, although his characters' development felt a little bit rushed.
Eventhough not all the drama of the film works, a lot of the emotional moments at the end really hit you, and Jackson also manages to tie the film nicely to the beginning of "The Lord of The Rings", which brings back some nostalgia as well. Fundamentalistic book-lovers will, however, be disappointed, since there are quite a few changes made. Personally, I didn't mind them, as I felt they did not hurt the overall atmosphere. All in all, "The Battle of the Five Armies" puts a great last piece into the Middle-earth saga, that is very fitting with its two predecessors. So if you liked those, you will definetely get your money's worth.
Now, we have an epic fantasy hexalogy on our hands!
For Fans Of:
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug (2013)
The Lord of The Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)
And check out my friend's review over at B.A.'s Screentest for a second opinion!