Will you follow me, one last time? A Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies Review

Hobbit-Battle of the Five Armies poster review

While I did enjoy the final part of the Hobbit story, it did have a few quite a few problems.

BanzaiBob joined me at the IMAX screening for this film, so his opinion on the film has been included in this review.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is the final chapter in the Hobbit trilogy. Smaug has just fled the mountain and is about to rampage across Lake Town. Will the dwarves and Bilbo be able to destroy Smaug and reclaim the home of the dwarves?

The Good

  • Great action
  • Some great visual effects and cinematography
  • A few really epic and moving moments
  • All the performances are good (not really a surprise considering the actors involved)
  • Some of the interactions/relationships between the main characters are really good
  • An unexpected actor appears later in the film
  • HFR!

The OK

  • Reasonable pacing, but there are certain story elements which needed more time to develop, and there were moments where you weren’t sure how much time had passed
  • Heavy on action, light on story and character
  • The romance sub-plot was a bit weak
  • The ending was drawn out a bit too much
  • Considering the overall lack of blood in this film, it’s weird how many decapitations there are
  • At this point I’m sure people realise this is Peter Jackson’s take on the book, and it’s not going to be a 100% true retelling of the original novel

The Bad

  • Some things felt a bit forced (this is mostly related to the romance sub-plot)
  • HFR! The slow-motion shots looked terrible in HFR
  • There were some really, really, really noticeable green screen shots
  • Supporting characters who you basically don’t give a rats ass about by the time the credits roll
  • They really should have ended The Desolation of Smaug properly and then picked up The Battle of the Five Armies after Smaug’s rampage was over

BanzaiBob’s Overall Opinion

Unlike Rowan, I’ve read the book many, many times over the years. One thing that always disappointed me was the way the battle was cut short. Some people really hate the additional content that’s been shoehorned into the storyline of the book. I’m not one of them. A reasonable chunk of the extra stuff is based on other pieces of Tolkien’s writings and for me this is a way to experience more of Middle Earth that would be unlikely to make it onto the screen. This third film is the ultimate in wish fulfilment and scores points with me for that alone.

Rowan’s Overall Opinion

The Battle of the Five Armies is definitely focused on the spectacle of the story (whether it be Smaug’s destruction of Lake Town or the huge fight that makes up most of the movie), but it does have a few moments which make you laugh, and some moments with the characters that hit the emotional bullseye. The film does have its fair share of problems, but these issues aren’t enough to bring the film down. Overall, it’s still a very enjoyable film, and a reasonably good way to end the series.

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5 thoughts on “Will you follow me, one last time? A Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies Review

  1. I agree with Bonzai, people do not realize how much hard work and dedication went into these films. Jackson is there for the fans of Middle-Earth, unlike George Lucas who adds dumb useless things to his own stories that serve no point to the film itself.

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    1. Thanks for the comment Dayakar! I haven’t read enough of the Middle Earth books to reply to the changes made to the story, but I enjoyed the adaptation. I’m a big believer in retaining the spirit/core of the story when translating it from one medium to another, and that seems to have been accomplished.

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    2. Exactly. People seem to forget the ton of information in the LotR appendices, plus the stuff in the Books of Lost Tales, Silmarillion etc. I’m just glad to see a little of it incorporated.

      Something that just struck me now – I’ll be interested to see if the extended edition (which I’m sure will be along this time next year) alleviates some of the more “rushed” aspects of the film…

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