“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” is literally just a film about the battle between 5 armies – humans, Elves, Orcs, Dwarves, and another bunch of Orcs. But of course, it is also a film that brings a solid ending to “The Hobbit” trilogy for audiences to embark on yet another journey to Middle Earth through the previous “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
However, would it be better if the director split the film into a 2-part movie instead? Well, we will say it could, especially after the titular character’s role became less significant in “The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies”.
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” may have accidentally shut out some of its potential audiences by opening the film from where it left off in the second film, “The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug“. The previous film has an ending that kept everyone sitting at the edge of their seats after Dragon Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) escaped from its lair to destroy Lake-town.
However, the cliffhanger opening scene seemed awkwardly positioned because this particular scene could’ve been put in the last part of the second film.
As a result, certain characters suffered from a very anti-climatic ending and a new deadly force was unleashed into the world. Eliminating these characters did help to elevate/fast forward the film so that the story doesn’t drag on to become a 3-hour film. Character development is evident in the film as King Thorin Oakenshield (played by Richard Armitage) developed dragon sickness, a behaviour that led to a series of tragic events in the film.
The dragon sickness completely transformed Thorin as he sacrificed friendship and honour for his reclaimed treasure and kingdom. The sickness is the same kind of sickness that his grandfather had before his death.
Bilbo (played by Martin Freeman), Thorin’s company, and even the Bard the bowman tried to reason with him but he seemed unfazed by his actions. His desperate attempt to search for the Arkenstone and protect his treasures almost caused the death of Bilbo and Dwalin.
Due to Thorin’s stubborn behaviour, the battle broke out in a mess with an army of Orcs charging their way to the Lonely Mountain/Erebor for the treasures. Men and Elves who were supposed to attack the Dwarves are forced to fight against the Orcs with the help from Thorin’s cousin, Dain and his army. However, it became clear that they were woefully outnumbered by the Orcs when Thorin refused to let his company to help them in the battle. To make matters worse, another army of Orcs was on its way to destroy the rest of the kingdom as well.
Epic battle scenes with loads of CGI effects are expected in the film and that was basically all there was to it. To be fair, the CGI effects were amazing if not the best we’ve ever seen for blending perfectly well with the actual shots. However, audiences may not be able to enjoy it to the fullest when they’re being thrust into watching 2 hours of what seemed like an endless battle.
Peter Jackson has, of course, shoehorned some “Lord of the Rings” elements by featuring the original trilogy characters Saruman, Galadriel, and Elrond in the final film. Having sensed that the great enemy Sauron is on the brink of returning, the members of White Council saved Gandalf the Grey from being tortured in Dol Gudur’s dungeons. This scene also hints at Saruman’s later betrayal when he persuades the rest to “leave Sauron to him”.
Despite being a popularised character in “Lord of the Rings”, Legolas’ (played by Orlando Bloom) presence has once again deemed unnecessary in the film, especially since his character did not appear in “The Hobbit” novel. His character was originally said to be the one who will governing the unity amongst men, dwarves, and elves to defeat their common enemy, but the report turned out to be untrue after we watched the film.
Other than being involved in the love triangle between Tauriel (played by Evangeline Lily) and Kili (played by Aidan Turner), his character is not needed in the film. The love story also only offers heartbreak to the audiences who have long rooted for the relationship to bloom.
Peter Jackson may have closed the chapter in a very unexciting way but it allowed us to go on another Middle Earth journey through Bilbo Baggins’ unexpected journey with Thorin Oakenshield and the company of the Dwarves.
Slated for release 17th December, “The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies” stars Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Armitage, Lee Pace, Cate Blanchett, Aidan Turner, Evangeline Lily, Orlanda Bloom, Hugo Weaving, and Christopher Lee.
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