Plot: The final in The Hobbit trilogy, Battle of the Five Armies brings the epic tale to a climax. Now the dwarves in Thorin’s company have made it to the Lonely Mountain, their battle has only just begun. Not only do they have a dragon to defeat, but others have a claim on the treasure apart from them. Said treasure takes hold of Thorin’s mind and twists the dwarf he once was.
If that isn’t enough, armies of orcs are descending. Friends and foe alike must battle together if there is any chance of survival. Not all will make it.
Quote: `You are changed, Thorin! The Dwarf I met in Bagend would never have gone back on his word! Would never have doubted the loyalty of his kin!`
Opinion: I re-watched the first two films before seeing this one. I’m glad I did. It added power to the character development – a trait more obvious in this final film than in the prequels. Thorin’s journey in particular – if you call it development considering his attitude in this film – is all the more prominent when comparing him to the dwarf that first appears. Considering the number of dwarves present in this film, this final part felt as if it did justice to all of them. I still couldn’t name them all or say which was which, but their defining characteristics are obvious throughout.
Having read the book, I knew how this would end. But what I didn’t know is how the film-makers were going to handle it. There were so many added plot points throughout the three films that it would have to do it justice – not just for the booklovers, but those who came to the world purely through the film. It did. The final scenes – as expected – were a huge epic battle that only Peter Jackson is able to pull off. The sequence had the visuals and attitude (occasional injections of humour) that I always loved in Lord of the Rings. It was an on-the-edge-of-your-seat fight…Mainly because I knew not all were going to survive this time.
The epic scale of the films does not mean that it can’t get a bit carried away, however. One character was completely undermined for me because of him riding a moose. And then another was riding a pig. Thorin’s character became unlikeable (although in fairness, this does stay true to the book) and his attitude seemed to drag on for too long. The dwarves had a moment of seeming weak that none of them agreed with him and yet wouldn’t do anything.
However, these petty holes do not mean anything. While The Hobbit trilogy does not match up to Lord of the Rings in my mind, it does the franchise justice. There is humour, there is seriousness. There are tears and there are laughter. There are well-rounded characters and enemies you love to hate. While the scale might go to a whole new level at times, the films all remain sheer entertainment.