What is it about? :: The journey of one Hobbit and a team of Dwarves continues where the earlier movie had finished with Smaug the Dragon (Benedict Cumberbatch) flying away to bring the chaos to the town. After the dragon being unleashed, and as it goes on destroying the town, Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans) manages to slay the creature after continuous attempts, and he himself emerges as the new leader. The Dwarves lock themselves inside the Lonely Mountain as Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) keeps searching for the Arkenstone with no result as it is already with Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) who hides it seeing Thorin’s change of attitude. Meanwhile, Thranduil (Lee Pace) arrives with an army of elves in hope to retrieve a stolen Elf treasure.
And what follows? :: While providing aid to the people of the town, he forms an alliance with the humans who wish to have that share of the gold which was promised by the Dwarves. Even though Bard tries to reason with Thorin, he doesn’t agree with the terms as he claims the whole treasure for himself and stays adamant. He would go for war instead of peace, and the arrival of Thorin’s cousin Dáin (Billy Connolly) with an army of Dwarves only make the situation worse. With Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) already imprisoned by the forces of darkness, and the huge army of Orcs lead by Azog the Defiler (Manu Bennett) and their secondary army along with Goblins coming closer, can anything positive come out of this for Elves, Humans or Dwarves?
The defence of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies :: We all know what The Hobbit is all about, and it is extremely difficult to mess things up here. One big advantage that this movie has compared to its predecessors is that it is the shortest among them all. The visuals are once again of the highest quality, and the battle sequences are really good. There is the grand battle which involves Elves, Dwarves, Orcs and Humans, and there is a lot of detail right there and what follows. An epic battle was needed, and this one surely delivers that. There is also focus in the minds of the characters and their attitudes here. The attention on the creature detail is also impressive, as we see many creatures around which are worth having further look at.
Claws of flaw :: Among the three movies, this one has the least happenings outside action. There should have been more focus on the plot which seems to go in a predictable way. There is a little bit of emptiness here and there which is masked only by the visual beauty. The dragon gets slain quite early, and things just continue in a predictable way, with armies coming on to clash, as the story goes right where it was expected to go. The romantic angle remains its biggest flaw, as it is forced and it seems so – as we know that the elf lady herself is an extra character added here. Unlike what is shown, it is more like an irritating case of love rather than what has been intended. It is a case of terror for the entire realm, and one has to wonder if it is a priority when these two are around.
Performers of the soul :: As expected, Martin Freeman plays the main character, but the focus is more on Richard Armitage nicely making Thorin Oakenshield impressive. Together, they make the whole thing better. Orlando Bloom has some of the most stylish action sequences in the movie, and his one-on-one battle with the orc is a joy to watch. Ian McKellen’s Gandalf the Grey continues to do what he has been doing all the time. Luke Evans has some interesting moments of glory in this one too. Evangeline Lilly’s Tauriel is good, but the character’s romantic side completely devastates the situation. Meanwhile, the rest of the dwarf team remains good and effective. The rest of the humans make much lesser impact. The best performer in the movie might still be the CGI.
Soul Exploration :: The major idea remains the same as the stage is set for the battle between good and evil. This is once again about the good overcoming the evil, and the stress is once again on the need for courage and sacrifice, as well as the value of comradeship and mutual help. The hope to go beyond the differences is also there, and it gives that message to get rid of the hatred between races and work together for a better future – it actually works here, and what seems to be only a chance earlier, does come to the light in this case. Unity in diversity is the point here too. Even though the force is mostly on Thorin Oakenshield to do the right thing, the rest also got to make their own decisions here that would affect the outcome.
How it finishes :: The franchise had started with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and continued through The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and has now finished at The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies in an interesting way – may be people expected better, but this is still a very good finish. The one thing which you have to keep in mind is that this is more action movie than the rest of the franchise, and you should have watched the previous movies before this one, because the action starts directly and very quickly in this one. It has finished second after Transformers: Age of Extinction with the box-office collections of the year, but The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is surely the better flick by some distance.
Release date: 17th December 2014
Running time: 144 minutes
Directed by: Peter Jackson
Starring: Martin Freeman, Evangeline Lilly, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Graham McTavish, Aidan Turner, Dean O’Gorman, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Sylvester McCoy, Manu Bennett, John Tui, Billy Connolly, Mikael Persbrandt, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Mitchinson, John Bell, Peggy Nesbit, Mary Nesbitt, Simon London
@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.