The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Friday 2nd January 2015

Director: Peter Jackson
Year: 2014
Stars:  Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Dean O'Gorman, Aidan Turner, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, Jed Brophy, Mark Hadlow, Luke Evans, Ryan Gage, Adam Brown, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lily, Stephen Fry, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee, Slyvester McCoy, Ian Holm

My first cinema since we went to see The Fault in Our Stars back in June for our wedding anniversary (it seems that a cinema once every six months is about what I can expect now), I quite enjoyed the third and final installment of The Hobbit. I suspect this had a lot to do with the fact that I knew what I was getting, because the movie certainly isn't without it's flaws.

For starters, almost the entire movie is one big long battle scene. I don't remember the book that well, but I know that a lot of this movie isn't adapted directly from The Hobbit. In many ways it suffers from the same problems as The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; it makes the story much, much grander than the book. For example, the orcs here are on a par with those in Lord of the Rings. In terms of the story, this doesn't work - the orcs in Lord of the Rings were meant to be bigger, better and tougher than anything Middle Earth had seen before. But this wouldn't work with the movie, because it's a prequel - so things filmed here have to be bigger and better (or at least on a par with) those that you have seen before.

There are also some very odd plot holes. For example, half the movie is spent talking about an army that will appear from the north. This seems to turn out to be about 100 goblins that, apparently, two dwarves can deal with all by themselves. If there is essentially no army, why mention it at all? (Better than that to introduce another army when the film is already too long - being 8 months pregnant, my back can attest to the fact that this movie was definitely too long).

Not a bad movie, and if you've seen the other two Hobbits (or even The Lord of the Rings trilogy) you'll know whether you're going to fundamentally like this or not. But there's nothing special to recommend it. Equally there's nothing truly terrible about it to warn you to stay away. Mostly average.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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About Me

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I live in Bristol with my husband Dan (who I married in July 2007), my son Joe (born 2012) and daughter Jess (born 2015). I work at UWE (the University of the West of England) in Bristol as a Research and Open Access Librarian. I'm orginally from Exeter, so moving back to Bristol is a bit like coming home - especially as I studied for my undergraduate degree here (also at UWE). I love travelling and movies, although I get to do a lot less of both since the birth of our children. Although we have still managed to fit in holidays to the Isles of Scilly, Chamonix and a summer in California since Joe was born.