The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
  • Time: 144 min
  • Genre: Adventure | Fantasy
  • Director: Peter Jackson
  • Cast: Martin Freeman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving


Mere seconds after the events of “Desolation”, Bilbo and Company continue to claim a mountain of treasure that was guarded long ago: But with Gandalf the Grey also facing some formidable foes of his own, the Hobbit is outmatched when the brutal army of orcs led by Azog the Defiler returns. But with other armies such as the elves and the men of Lake-Town, which are unsure to be trusted, are put to the ultimate test when Smaug’s wrath, Azog’s sheer strength, and Sauron’s force of complete ends attack. All in all, the trusted armies have two choices: unite or die. But even worse, Bilbo gets put on a knife edge and finds himself fighting with Hobbit warfare with all of his might for his dwarf-friends, as the hope for Middle-Earth is all put in Bilbo’s hands. The one “precious” thing to end it all.


  • This final film of the trilogy was the film i was hoping for, they kept their promise on how the film would end and also the fact that Billy Connolly was the role of Dain Iron-foot which made the whole cinema fill with joy and laughter the fact he rode a pig to war. Although the beginning of the film with Smaug was short, but still sweet, the effects of the film were amazing during the whole sequence. The Armour designs for all of the armies were just outstanding as well, especially the orcs. The white council scene although quite short as well, was well worth the 10 minutes spent watching it , Galadriel finally released her full power and used it against evil, and even beat Sauron in the process, which was actually really unexpected considering i though Sauron was a lot more powerful than Galadriel. In the end battle, the final charge of the Dwarfs with all of the companions of Thorins company, charging in a triangle formation against the orc forces, which around the cinema caused complete shock and awesomeness of what went into this film.

  • Having been an extra in films 2 & 3 (as a Laketowner) I was amazed at the incredible attention to detail put into every tiny aspect of the movies. I know it’s de rigeur now to bash Sir Peter but I have huge respect for the man. He really loves Tolkein’s works and he works incredibly hard; he also loves playing with new filmmaking tech, and I think that might have led him astray at times. I wish we’d had a fraction of his resources when we made this

  • Peter Jackson’s passion project, encompassing six films over the course of 13 years, comes to a satisfying end with The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Any niggling cavils cannot distract from his towering achievement in bringing to vivid life J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic saga.

    Having failed to vanquish the fearsome dragon Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) at the end of the previous installment The Desolation of Smaug, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and the rest of the Dwarves can do nothing but watch helplessly as the magnificent firebreather proceeds to lay waste the citizens of Lake-town, a punishment for assisting the intruders of Lonely Mountain. It’s a thrilling opening, made even more so in IMAX 3D, and one feels a sharp pang of regret when Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans) fells the mighty beast.

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  • This film is mildly recommended.

    Let’s face it: The Hobbit film series was bloated and overblown from its initial start. The slim book became a overly-massive trilogy helmed by Peter Jackson, in the hopes of making a classic epic story with his prior Lord of the Rings fame and pedigree. The first film from this franchise was a disappointment, with too much broad hijinks and silliness; the second was a vast improvement with its darker mood and stronger character development, although its ending was abrupt and too much the cliffhanger. Part Three, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, immediately takes flight from that final shot of Smaug, escaping and soaring above, set to raise havoc on the village and its habitants below.

    Three may not be the charm, but it does have some thrills, more so in the hand-to-hand combat sequences toward the end of the film, less so with the endless army battles on a grand scale. Jackson and his company provide enough of a rousing adventure even if their overuse of CGI sacrifices its characters and story. Too often, the film resembles a video game in far too many action sequences. While it’s true that everything about this film installment entertains, it all seems frenzied and artificial.

    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies also seems choppy and redundant. While there is much to admire technically and the visual look of the film is epic, Jackson pacing is off this time around as he undercuts his suspense with the episodic structure of the film. He becomes too preoccupied with the war sequences and their staging, relishing in the slaughter and celebrating the war, the very antithesis of the Tolkien source. But blood and mayhem does sell more tickets nowadays.

    The actors try to bring some depth and emotion to their underwritten roles, but seem to be mere pawns in Jackson’s action gamer. Most of the actors overplay their roles with hammy facial expressions and gestures, barking out the dialog rather than subtly underplaying their line delivery. Some of the sound design is over-amplified to give a more dramatic spin, but the opposite effect applies. Coming off best from this cast of thousands are Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, Ian McKellan, Orlando Bloom, Luke Evans, Aidan Turner and Evangeline Lilly; others like Lee Pace, Billy Connolly, Stephen Fry, and, at times, Richard Armitage suffer with their poorly written characters. However, Ryan Gage as Alfrid plays his character like a Monty Python wannabe, trying for comic relief and coming up this short of annoying. Not sure, if it was the actor’s choice or the director’s to bring this brand of music hall slapstick into the proceedings. Even more strange is the underuse of talented actors as mere walk-ons like Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, and Hugo Weaving.

    Production values continue to be top notch, particularly the art direction by Simon Bright and Andy McLaren. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies could have used a lot less armies and a lot more depth in the characters and story. The war may have been won, but the battles were lost in this film adaptation. GRADE: B-

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  • The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies 6/10- As we come to the conclusion of not just the Hobbit franchise but to the Lord of the Rings universe as well, Peter Jackson’s final installment has a lot to live up to. If you have seen the trailer or just look at the title, you can tell a lot of war will take place in this film and in turn, an enormous amount of CGI. The CGI was average at best, and even though it was eleven years ago, The Lord of the Rings had much better CGI effects (again, it is a lot to live up to). The acting was solid by every member of the film, which is saying a lot considering this is a very large cast. The story could have been better, but it was still entertaining. All in all, The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies may not be as critically-acclaimed and groundbreaking as Return of the King, but the film was satisfying enough to conclude the franchise.

    My main problem with the film is the lack of story involved. The movie is basically just constant fighting and battling and unlike the last Harry Potter film, there is very little depth taking place in the two-hour long battle sequence. All of this battling then forces the special effects department to CGI the hell out of the film in order for the battling to be entertaining. There is never really any build up in the fight, it is just the same thing one after the other. This makes the final battle sequence of the film to be far less dramatic than the director intended. The abundance of main characters in the film was also not handled well. They either needed to make the movie longer and give the characters more screen time, or cut out other characters. By doing so, the audience would actually be able to feel for the characters much more and get a sense of their development over the course of the film instead of just a couple of them.

    The acting definitely carried the film for me. Everyone gave a terrific performance and you could really tell the cast was having fun while they were filming. Martin Freeman was nothing short of spectacular as Bilbo Baggins.

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  • For the last two years watching ‘The Hobbit’ has become a tradition in my family. Every year since 2012 my family and I go down to the cinema to see what Peter Jackson has to offer this time around with the trilogy coming to an end i suppose this is something I’m going to miss. While I’m not the biggest fan of ‘The Lord of the Rings’, like my father and brothers I certainly admire what Jackson has done, and LOTR was a wonderful thing, the entire trilogy. With ‘The Hobbit’, Peter Jackson looked to recreate the success he received with LOTR. This was something that was going to be a huge obstacle since Jackson had to somehow stretch one small book into three feature-length films as well as add his own story along the way. ‘The Hobbit’ however, did not receive the same respect as LOTR, it was not showered with Oscars and despite two solid films in the Hobbit trilogy fans began to doubt Jackson’s ability with many labeling him as a sell-out. The Battle of the Five Armies is the culmination of this trilogy.

    Directed by: Peter Jackson, with a screen-play from Jackson himself, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Gulillermo del Toro, The Battle of the Five Armies finds Bilbo and Company 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. Nearly the entire cast from the previous two films returns for this final installment which includes, Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, Richard Armitage, Evangaline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Orlando Bloom. The movie in general is a bit of a hit and miss, while it succeeds in bringing Jackson’s own vision to the screen it fails at many other things. Jackson anchors a spectacle and even though it doesn’t compare to the LOTR in size or scope it’s damn fine to watch. One of the best things about this film is that after a lengthy build-up of two films it finally gave us the battle scene we were so desperately craving for. The multiple narrative allows us to experience the side of every main character unlike the book which helped us see only Bilbo’s side. Acting-wise Luke Evans delivers the best performance among the crew as ‘Bard’, with Ian McKellan, Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage making notable efforts. The pacing is swift and Jackson constructs this final movie with taut direction.

    On the downside however, The Battle of the Five Armies is plagued with a number of problems. One of these problems is perhaps the over-reliance on CGI. One of the best things about LOTR was how it had the perfect mix of CGI and practice effects, over here however Jackson depends too heavily on CGI which despite making the movie visually beautiful gives a sense of flawed realism to the computer generated characters and makes you feel like these characters came out of a video-game. I also felt the entire trilogy had a degree of heavy-handedness to it, Jackson keeps adding things to make the entire story compelling but it just isn’t happening. The big scenes, the effects just don’t have the same novelty as LOTR. While Jackson’s addition of Azog as the main antagonist paid off his inclusion of Legolas seemed unnecessary and imposed upon on us, since his character really has nothing important to offer to the entire story. The anti-climatic ending is another thing that left me somewhat frustrated and the attempt to tie-in The Hobbit with LOTR seemed forced.

    At the end, The Battle of the Five Armies is not a bad movie, nor is it a particularly good one, it lies somewhere in the middle. The movie fails to truly bring a gratifying end to the entire endeavor. The trilogy itself has a somewhat similar feel to the Star Wars prequel trilogy and comes across as a desperate attempt from Peter Jackson to recreate the same success he once achieved with LOTR.

    Final Score: 6.6/10

    -Khalid Rafi

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  • Tony Barton

    I have just recently watched The Hobbit The Incredible Journey and decided to jump straight in and watch The Battle of Five Armies and I wasn’t disappointed. This film has everything for me, Adventure….Action….Despair….Humour and Jaw Dropping Special Effects. It would be easy for me to give Peter Jackson a big pat on the back for this movie. After all, he was also responsible for the Lord of the Ring movies. But I think he would be the first to acknowledge that movies of this magnitude can not be credited to one man. This is a well made movie with some big performances, none more so than Martin Freeman in the title role, who I don’t mind saying had a lump in my throat on more than one occasion. If you look hard enough, you can probably find faults with any movie. As for me on this occasion, I just sat back enjoyed the ride.

  • In Tolkien’s book, the line goes “and so began a battle than none had expected; and it was called the Battle of the Five Armies, and it was very terrible.” The slim-line novel is very much anti-war, which makes Peter Jackson’s decision to turn a short chapter into a 160-minute battle sequence all the more perplexing. The comparisons you can make to 2003’s The Return of the King are almost endless, but The Battle of the Five Armies fails to achieve the same level of excitement as the multiple Oscar winner as it forgets about its characters. This is essentially Bilbo’s story, but once again he is lost amongst the indistinguishable dwarves, CGI fighting and frequent detours linking this franchise to Lord of the Rings.

    It starts off where The Desolation of Smaug left us, with the super-pissed dragon Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) about to lay waste to Lake Town. Inside the Lonely Mountain, dwarf Thorin (Richard Armitage) obsesses over his newly-found treasure, but becomes increasingly paranoid at the disappearance of the Arkenstone, which was taken by hobbit Bilbo (Martin Freeman) during his face-off with Smuag. Meanwhile, wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) is helping rid Dol Guldur of Sauron, an evil force who is increasing his power. Elves Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) ally themselves with human Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans), while Legolas’s father Thranduil (Lee Pace) arrives with an army of his own, seeking to claim an elven necklace from the Lonely Mountain.

    The main problem with The Hobbit trilogy as a whole is Jackson’s failure to spend enough time with any of it’s huge cast. Bilbo is all but left out of his own story yet again, and the extra attention paid to Thorin’s struggle with his own blind greed comes across as a hypocritical parable to Jackson’s own decision to stretch out a thin book into three blockbusting movies. So while the film is undeniably entertaining, it is little more than a collection of clashing swords, sweeping CGI and badly timed comedy, loosely strung together by scenes of awkward dialogue, unconvincing romantic swooning, and Christopher Lee beating up baddies with a staff like Chuck Norris on steroids.

    It’s a shame that The Hobbit trilogy has been so underwhelming, and quite surprising too. Given that Lord of the Rings was so successful in bringing Tolkien’s mythology to life, with action scenes that seemed so innovative and such a strong grasp on its characters, you would expect more of the same. It feels like Jackson simply expected the audience to warm to Bilbo, Thorin et al because they are part of the same world, so didn’t put his heart into it. The humour is off too, with a horrendously CGI’d Billy Connolly turning up as a head-butting dwarf, delivering cringe-worthy lines you would expect from a pantomime starring Christopher Biggins. A few exciting moments save it from disaster, but after almost 9 hours of this story, I’m just glad the whole thing is over.

    Rating: 3/5

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