The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies – 4/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

The Hobbit BOTFAThe Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies – 4/5 – We have come, to the end.  Unlike previous reviews, I am not going to go into a typical explanation of ‘films’ or ‘trilogies’.  I am not even going to describe this film as I usually do in my typical structure of ‘acting, directing, visuals and score’.   The breakdown will be unique.  As I reiterate, we have come to the end of our tale.  The world of Middle Earth has come to a close, and this final chapter is both befitting of its name, and also one that shows that ‘bloat’ can be cumbersome at times.

All the cast has returned.  In this final film, they all have become completely enraptured in their roles.  From the dwarves, elves and orcs, to Gandalf, Bilbo and the White Counsel; you come to seeing not ‘whose’ behind the mask, but ‘who’ these people has become.  You are entrenched with them on this long aspiration of purpose.  In this film, it culminates to where you feel their joy, happiness, pain and suffering.   The emotional pull of each character is the high point of this film.  When it comes to particular moments, you can’t help but feel the anxiety of the situation.  You have a feeling for the worst, but hoping for the best.  This is most dire when all the five armies come into play.

The film picks up at the ‘cliffhanger’ of the last one.  The prologue of Smaug decimating Lake Town is both an infusion of spectacular feats of visuals, but also a sense of ‘over-the-top’ sequences that seem to hinder who’s involved.  That confliction of sensations vs. story can come to head, but the overall appeal is that this ‘introduction’ to the third film is immensely important.   Once we get past this, the film moves quickly to provider a ‘political’ power struggle between the Dwarves of Erebor and Iron Hills, Elves of the Woodland Realm, and the Men of Lake Town.  This was introduced in the later part of the second film, and those ‘chess pieces’ come to the board to play.  The struggling of ‘whose gold’ and ‘what portion’ everyone gets is strong element in the direction.  That conflict makes you pull and push for certain sides, wondering if the overall ‘greed’ will cloud ‘reason’ (with certain impending doom).  This is also played against the personal relationship of Thorin and Bilbo.  There ‘friendship’ starts to peel back, and the humanistic quality starts to boil on the brim.  As the back and forth continues, the orcs make their appearance; throwing a monkey wrench into everyone’s claim.  This leads into one of the longest battles in film history.  The overall scale of the fighting is amazing, extravagant, but also mind-numbing.  As much as it is wonderful to see that complete oozing of fanatical elements and choreographed fights, there is a sense of ‘bloated’ filling that isn’t needed.  That insertion of ‘unwanted’ elements gives you (which started with the prologue) a push/pull of ‘story vs. spectacle’.   Unlike a previous film I reviewed, this one never falls into the trap of relying completely on the visuals.  It does a great job in transitioning the visual allure to the characterization to certain fights.  As all comes to head in the final act, you get some really strong game changing moments.  Lives are lost, characters mature, and the overall spectrum of what was in the first film comes to a complete circle by the final slashing of Thorin’s sword.  Watching the completeness of everything (Erebor conquest, the pieces leading into Lord of the Rings, Bilbo/Thorin’s relationship) is what makes you feel the heart of the film.  No matter if the visuals drown out strengths of the story, or the overabundance of a resounding score, that ‘middle earth’ charm is what makes you enjoy this film.

The closure is one that combines bittersweet feelings with anti-climatic elements.  As much as the winding down of the journey is heartfelt, you still feel a sense of ‘let down’ because there is no real ending to this trilogy.  When the credits role in this final film, you see how this whole trilogy is stamped as ‘lacking’ but ‘amazing’.  The irony of proof is there, but you can’t help but enjoy the journey nonetheless.

The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies is a film that will appeal to fans of Lord of the Rings and the fantasy genre.  There isn’t much else to say, other than if you’re looking for finale of somewhat epic proportions, this is a film that gives you one.  With some bloated material here and there, you will still find satisfaction in the journey of one Hobbit and the company of thirteen dwarves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *