Review: ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ brings excellence #OneLastTime

The Hobbit: Battles of Five Armies premiered Dec.17,2014. This is the third movie in the series

The Hobbit: Battles of Five Armies premiered Dec.17,2014. This is the third movie in the series

Tristan Baez, Writer

The final chapter in the Middle-Earth saga is here… and it’s great. The third installment of Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit” trilogy arrives in an epic conclusion to the Lord of the Rings prequel.

Similar to the events in  “Desolation of Smaug”, “Battle of the Five Armies”  follows Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen), Thorin (Richard Armitage), Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly), and Legolas (Orlando Bloom) on the quest to stop Smaug and the orc army from taking over all of Middle-Earth.

Coming from a not-so-huge fan of the first two “Hobbit” movies, there were very low expectations walking into the theater. Walking out on the other hand, expectations were greatly exceeded.

In the grand scope, the film was epic and nothing short of it. Like “Return of the King,” the battle scenes were amazing, filmed with unique fighting choreography, and sweet action. Visually the movie was a treat, with great visuals (although at times the overuse of CGI makes the film like a completely animated film, which got bothersome considering it was in normal frame rate), long extended shots, and good gritty cinematography.

As Michael Bay wouldn’t know, visuals are worthless without a great story. Jackson, Guillermo del Toro, and a few other writers, wrote a great film based on J.R.R Tolkien’s novel. The story finally picked up in the third film and was intriguing throughout the course of the movie, mainly due to the fact there was about 3000% less walking than “An Unexpected Journey.”

Though the film is fun to watch a few glaring problems carried through from the previous films. The love relationships seem, and have seemed, forced, which leads to awkward on screen chemistry and unbelievable dialogue. In addition, the characters don’t carry an emotional weight, which is an anomaly, considering there has been two previous films to introduce, get-to-know and care for the characters.

Another slight annoyance was the consistent *wink wink* scenes for the fans. It takes you out of the film but at the same time is something to smile at, while getting your inner elvish out. It was also cool to see some closure of this trilogy as it ends, leading right into the “Lord of the Rings.”

Overall, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” is a visual masterpiece and a tremendous fantasy action film. The movie wraps up Peter Jackson’s revolutionary Middle-Earth saga in a huge, epic, pay-off. With a great story, but less than par character development and interactions, it still makes for a great time at the movies, just in time for the holiday season. If you’re a hardcore fan or just love a good fantasy movie, this is the movie for you.

Final Verdict: 7.9/10