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Fantasy The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies
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The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies
Genre Fantasy

Peter Jackson has unleashed The Hobbit Trilogy in a similar fashion to George Lucas's quest to make the first three Star Wars films. Unfortunately, they too don't live up to the former glory of the original trilogy. While many were quite skeptical about Jackson splitting the adaptation into not two, but three chapters... for the most part, he's managed to pull it off.

We're immersed into J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth one last time asĀ Bilbo and Company are forced to keep the terrifying Smaug from obliterating a town and engage in a war against an array of combatants to protect a kingdom of treasure and preserve the fragile peace. You get the impression that the film-makers have taken a page from Game of Thrones in the way the multiple factions help nest a layered war drama.

To Jackson's credit, the trilogy ends on a high note. He's treated the climactic battle, which makes up the bulk of the film, much like The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers did at Helm's Deep. Epic siege action, fantasy adventure and dazzling visual effects artistry create a realistic world where Orcs, Elves and Dwarves converge to fight over a mountain of riches, after the powerful dragon Smaug decimates a small village.

It's a grim, dark and wondrous tale of politics, greed, might and magic, which certainly helps if you watched the first two chapters. We're drawn in by the beautiful imagery, epic vistas and array of intricately adorned and made up characters, who are engaged in a dangerous stand-off between five forces.

Sir Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage return to power the main characters. McKellen is slightly subdued but still good as Gandalf, the Middle Earth figurehead for the sixth time in the series. Martin Freeman seems to be the most comfortable in his skin, giving Bilbo a curious charm and quizzical nature as the troubled go-between. Then Armitage has the dark task of playing a good dwarf, bewitched by greed and megalomania.

The film-makers have gone with visual technology over hordes of extras for The Hobbit Trilogy. The CGI and sound is first-rate and The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies is bound to get some technical awards and nominations come awards season, considering the weight of dazzling visual effects and aural environments in this film.

While enthralling, it does land some unintentional laughs, especially when it comes to some of the incredulous action stunts involving Legolas. While Jackson has focused on the 300 battle sequences, the script still feels stretched, making it entertaining at 2 and a half hours, but not in the same league as The Lord of the Rings.

Fans will be appeased as Jackson rounds off the trilogy with his head held high. The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies's visual artistry is compelling, the fantasy action is relentless, the detailed wardrobe/make up enhance the realism and the solid cast keep us invested in a relatively simple story, which ties up most of the loose ends and bridges The Lord of the Rings.

The bottom line: Entertaining

7.00/10 ( 1 Vote )
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