This hashtag has been used on many social media platforms for the last few months. It denotes the final instalment of Peter Jackson’s J.R.R Tolkien Lord of the Rings movies. It is the 6th and final movie and so there is a ting of sadness as I write my review.
At the end of the last movie (you can read my review here), Bilbo Baggins (Freeman), Thorin (Armitage) and the Dwarves (not listing them all …) had reached Lonely Mountain and awakened the dragon, Smaug (Cumberbatch). I was annoyed with that ending but let’s move on shall we ….
Five Armies opens with confirmation that Bilbo had found the Arkenstone of Thrain. Finally, Smaug is vanquished and Lonely Mountain reclaimed. An enraged Smaug burns Lake-town to the ground, terrorising it’s human residents. Thorin gets all weird about his reclaimed gold hoard and goes a little bit evil so Bilbo does not let on he found the Arkenstone.
But they better get their acts together quick smart because Sauron is sending all the bad guys their way. Orcs, goblins, the works. Time to let bygones be bygones and work together to defeat the common enemy. Five armies are about to collide in a spectacular display.
The Five Armies…. debate is raging. RAGING! The book is clear regarding the Five Armies but the movie is more ambiguous. I thought it was Men, Dwarves, Elves, Orcs and Goblins. Apparently I was wrong. The Fifth Army are the Eagles. On screen for 3.76 seconds but they are the titular Fifth Army.
Obviously, the story deviates from the book. Well it had to because the book is only 300 pages long. Unlike The Lord of the Rings, stretching this little book into 3 movies was always going to be tough. And it was the storytelling and the pace that suffered. Many scenes dragged and with a movie this long, it was unforgivable.
The CGI was magnificent, spectacular, incomparable. I loved the armies, especially the Elven armies, lined up at the gates, perfectly formed and perfectly perfect.
The Hobbit movies lacked the story telling punch of The Lord of the Rings movies and this is what I missed so very much. I loved all 6 movies and will certainly buy and watch them many times in the future but my Hobbit discs will probably only come out a few more times. Perhaps during long weekend, winter marathons.
I cannot honestly say that my overall enjoyment was marred by this film’s shortcomings because that isnt true. I would not have missed this movie for anything but I do feel all could have been satisfactorily accomplished in 2 movies. Oh and I still don’t like the HFR format and will avoid it from now on.
3 1/2 out of 5 stars
Love Flick xx
Director : Peter Jackson
Starring : Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Luke Evans, Lee Pace, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, WIlliam Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Den O’Gorman, Aidan Turner, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, Jed Brophy, Mark Hadlow, Adam Brown, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly
Running Time : 144 minutes
Release Date : 26 December 2014