Wednesday, December 17, 2014



From IMDB:


Bilbo and Company are forced to engage in a war against an array of combatants and keep the terrifying Smaug from acquiring a kingdom of treasure and obliterating all of Middle-Earth.

Ratings: 8.2/10 from 34,320 users Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 151 user | 135 critic | 15 from

From Rotten Tomatoes:

Movie Info

From Academy Award (R)-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," the third in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world. Enraged, Smaug rains his fiery wrath down upon the defenseless men, women and children of Lake-town. Obsessed above all else with his reclaimed treasure, Thorin sacrifices friendship and honor to hoard it as Bilbo's frantic attempts to make him see reason drive the Hobbit towards a desperate and dangerous choice. But there are even greater dangers ahead. Unseen by any but the Wizard Gandalf, the great enemy Sauron has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain. As darkness converges on their escalating conflict, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide - unite or be destroyed. Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his friends in the epic Battle of the Five Armies, as the future of Middle-earth hangs in the balance. (c) Warner Bros

TOMATOMETER 65% | Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 69 | Fresh: 44 | Rotten: 25 

Critics Consensus: Suitably grim, epic, and action-packed, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies ends Peter Jackson's second Middle-earth trilogy on a rousing high note. 

AUDIENCE SCORE 99% want to see
Average Rating: 4.2/5 | User Ratings: 160,110

Opened on 11 December in New Zealand and on 12 December in the United Kingdom.

In the United States, 17 December 2014 and in Malaysia on the 18th of December 2014.

 The moment the movie starts you get treated to this handsome face ©Warner Bros Pictures


Okay, so this is it, the last movie that we will ever see done by Peter Jackson to take place in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Kingdom. Originally supposed to just be two movies somehow Peter Jackson, Guillermo Del Toro, Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens have managed to stretch it into three well over two hour long movies. And of course Peter Jackson being Peter Jackson there will be a special edition release a year later with even more footage that somehow didn't get included when they first play in theaters. I remember reading the book way, way back when and thought it was an amusing little book. It was a short and fast read. So to see it come to life in three very long movies was pretty interesting.

So since this blog wasn't around for the first installment and the second I'll sort of share a quick review of what I thought of them. Or at least what I can remember of what my impressions was of them. Let's see, the first one, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), I thought it was okay. A little slow and ponderous with lots of pretty scenery. It was basically just an introduction to the characters you'll be watching in the the next two, a film for you to get  to know them and what each motivations are for their journey and adventures they'll face. Or at least that's what I remember of it. It wasn't bad but I still remember thinking it was a little to long and sometimes, occasionally a little dull at times.

These guys were the focus of the first two but in the last one not so much. ©Warner Bros Pictures

The second one, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013), I felt was a little better paced and had more meat to it. More things to see, more thrills and spills. But the thing that I liked most about the second installment was actually Smaug, voiced by the incredible Benedict Cumberbatch. That was the thing that made the movie for me. If I were to choose which of the two is better you can guess which one I'd choose.

So now the final piece of the puzzle. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. What's this one about? Well, if you've seen the other two and are a fan of Peter Jackson and J.R.R. Tolkien then you'd already know what this movie's about. If you're neither of those, are just a casual movie fan then I suggest you go watch the first two before you see this. Because without the other two then this one won't make sense. Seriously. You won't know who those people on the screen are and why they're doing what they're doing. Of course if you're reading this then I'm guessing you know this already too.

The spirits of the dead nine kings of men make a special appearance. ©Warner Bros Pictures

Anyway, the Battle of the Five Armies picks up immediately after the second one. There is no re-telling or re-cap of what has happened. The movie just picks it up without pause. If you don't remember what happened it the second one you might find yourself a little lost. So hopefully you'll still remember that Smaug was incredibly ticked off that the Dwarves dared enter his mountain and was chasing them out of it when they trap him in a hall and then drop hundreds of tonnes of molten gold on him. Smaug of course was not killed or even stopped by his hot new paint job but was instead made even more furious and vowed vengeance not only on the Dwarves but people of the lake. So off he went to burn the lake town down to embers when suddenly the credits roll up. Hell of a way to leave us, right?

Well, this movie starts right where that last one left off. You see Smaug doing aerial burning runs like he's trying to create fire breaks to control a forest fire. The whole lake town goes up in smokes. Everyone makes a break for it. The Dwarves that were left behind when Kili was wounded and Tauriel was healing him are also making their escape. But Tauriel doesn't follow Kili and the other dwarves. She stays to take care of Bards  family. Bard, the man that everyone ignored when he warned them what could happen goes up to the highest point with bow and arrow and tries to shoot down Smaug. This of course doesn't work since Smaug's scales are too strong for normal weapons to pierce through. Before long Bard's son Bain shows up with the black arrow similar to the one used by his ancestor Girion, when he took a shot at Smaug and dislodged one of Smaug's scales. So Bard now has the arrow and uses it to take down Smaug with one lucky shot. Smaug is gone. This happens in like the first ten minutes into the movie. I was sort of disappointed at not being able to see more of Smaug.

One day you're the pariah the next you're the hero. Only in the Middle Kingdom. ©Warner Bros Pictures

With Smaug gone the mountain and all it's gold now belongs to Thorin and the Dwarves. They can now claim what was rightfully theirs to begin with. But unfortunately, Smaug didn't just steal the Dwarves home and valuables, he stole everyone's. Now that he's gone, everyone wants it back. And they're willing to fight for it.Of course the gold isn't the only thing of value. The mountain itself is a stronghold and a gateway to the north which makes it of strategic value too.

This of course doesn't sit well with Thorin who now seems obsessed with the gold and the search for the Arkenstone. When Bard comes by to ask Thorin for a share that rightfully belongs to the people of Lake Town and what Thorin himself promised to them, Thorin denies them their claim. By this time even the Elves have shown up to claim what is right fully theirs.

Sauron makes an appearance in this one too and he's pretty freakin' cool. For an evil eye that is. ©Warner Bros Pictures

In the meantime, Gandalf who if you remember was kept prisoner by Azog is rescued by Lady Galadriel who frees him from his prison. While escaping the ghost of the nine kings of men show up to stop their escape, when out of the shadows Saruman and Elrond appear to help their escape. Gandalf escapes to warn the others of what's coming.

After this all eyes are on the mountain. Everyone, heads there. The orcs, the elves, the dwarves, the people of Lake Town. Everyone, wants in on wants in the mountain and for the Orcs and the army of Sauron the want the mountain too. From this point on it's one long battle, with a little bits of story in between. Not that that's a bad thing. Plus if I said anything more I'd probably really ruin it for you. If I didn't already that is.

So they're all suited up for the battle. But they don't go into battle. Not immediately after this scene that is. ©Warner Bros Pictures


The Final installment or, so what did I think of it?

To be honest, I enjoyed the second installment more than this one but this one is maybe a little better than the first. Does that make sense? I was expecting a little more of Smaug too, I know he's supposed to die but I didn't expect it to happen so soon into the movie.

The story? Well, things are tied up pretty well. Thorin goes from mad to sane just in time to lead the Dwarves out the front door to kick the orcs ass and of course help out his brother Dwarves that came all the way to help him defend their birthright. The battle scenes are pretty good but nowhere near as good as the battle scenes in the third installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

There's still that little love story between Kili and Tauriel which I still find unnecessary. And the giant eagles of course shows up at the last minute to shift the tide of victory. It all seems pretty formulaic for some reason now that I'm writing it down.

So that's the bad guy and that's his army down there. Of course you know this means war. ©Warner Bros Pictures

If it sounds like I didn't enjoy it, then maybe I'm writing it wrong because I did but when I think about it and compare it to how the Lord of the Rings made me feel when I watched that trilogy then this trilogy seems to come a little short. Maybe I shouldn't be comparing the two. The Lord of the Rings was probably impressive because it was the first that we saw anything like it. We'd never been treated to anything like it before and when it came out it was just amazing. The Hobbit of course can't have the same effect. It's been quite a few years since the Lord of the Rings and things have changed, our expectations for things have changed too. In a way I guess, I sort of was expecting more from The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, problem is other than expecting more of Smaug I can't really tell what it was I was expecting more of.

But if I were to judge the Hobbit Trilogy without comparing it to the Lord of the Rings, then this the last in the trilogy was a pretty darned good one to end with. And of course as mentioned before they made efforts to tie this movie with what happens in the Lord of the Rings, which was sort of cool. But I think it'll be even better once Peter Jackson releases the special editions of all three with all the extra footage that he always leaves out of the cinema.

All in all I give the Battle of the Five Armies a solidly entertaining, four out of five. Anyway, I'll be watching it again in IMAX3D before the week ends so maybe after that I might edit this entry. Maybe. We'll see.




  1. Like the rest of the trilogy, it's not perfect. But, for the most part, is entertaining to say the least. Good review.

    1. Yup, wholeheartedly agree with you Dan O, thanks for dropping by and thank you for the compliment!