MOVIE REVIEW: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien
New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Philippines
Starring Sir Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, Orlando Bloom, Stephen Fry, Mikael Persbrandt, Sylvester McCoy, Manu Bennett, Lawrence Makoare, Sir Christopher Lee
Directed by Peter Jackson
Philippine Release Date: December 12, 2014
Total running time: 144 minutes
MTRCB Rating: PG
Peter Jackson revisits Middle-earth – taking us there and back again one last time – in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
It was okay, I guess. A bit drawn-out, but it was visually stunning. The one-on-one fight scenes in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies were well-choreographed, but the big battle sequences felt a bit dragging at times. I also think they spent too much time developing unimportant characters just to pad the story. It’s also a shame that the titular hobbit – Frodo Baggins’s dear old uncle Bilbo – was a bit weak in terms of presence.
The movie also has little Easter eggs for fans of the LotR trilogy, with a couple of important names dropped and a few characters who didn’t originally appear in The Hobbit thrown into the mix.
“The Battle of the Five Armies” follows, for the last time, the exploits of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Artimage), and the rest of the merry Company of Dwarves. Picking up after the events of “The Desolation of Smaug,” the adventuring party has succeeded in taking back their homeland from the fearsome dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch), starting a chain of events that causes conflict within the Company and ignites a war involving the Elves, the Dwarves, the people of Lake-town, and Sauron’s army of brutal, merciless Orcs.
The film wastes no time in taking us right to the heart of the action, opening with Smaug wrathfully raining firestorms and draconian fury upon Lake-town. From there, the audience is taken through a 144-minute adventure full of action, character development, and nods to the fandom, built around the central lesson that obsession over material wealth is the root of greed, conflict, and evil.
However, there’s something about the film that I can’t quite put my finger on that keeps it from fully reaching the epic sense of grandeur that it is striving towards—and nearly comes close to—achieving. I have a feeling, though, that it’s more because of a collection of small shortcomings than a gaping hole in quality.
Ultimately, “The Battle of the Five Armies” is an entertaining way to spend two hours, with its computer-generated visuals, fight scenes, and fleshed-out characters. Sadly, it also lacks the sort of punch that makes such adventures the stuff of legends.
Want to know if it’s worth watching? Read the rest of my review here: Movie Review: There and back again, one last time with ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’
Watch the official trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies: