THE HOBBIT: The Battle Of The Five Armies
With Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving
Written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro (based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien)
Directed by Peter Jackson
The third and final act in Jackson's adaptation of Tolkien's The Hobbit comes to a close.
Peter Jackson must be a very tired man. Having spent the last decade and a half on six Middle Earth movies (at least getting in some other distractions like King Kong and Lovely Bones along the way).
Having survived the wrath of the dragon Smaug and reclaimed the treasure of their homeland, the dwarves and Bilbo have to face a vast Orc army assembled by the evil Sauron, heading for Lonely Mountain. But Oakenshield's lust after his family heirloom the Arkenstone of Thrain (also known as the Heart of the Mountain) within the caverns of gold is turning him mad and irrational (almost like extensive exposure to the Ring will drive you insane). Bilbo found the stone and is keeping it from him for his own safety and sanity.
The ensuing battle is protracted and huge, the action often overwhelming and a bit of a blur of sensory overload. With so much CGI, these movies have reached a bit of an unreal animated state that doesn't draw me in as the Lord Of The Rings did (even with real actors incorporated), this final installment feeling over-processed with a soft-focus sheen that removes the sense of reality, often translating as a prolonged video game cut scene. But, it is huge storytelling nonetheless.
As a prelude to Jackson's previous trilogy, some time in the future I'll watch the three Hobbit movies, then follow it up with the Lord Of The Rings movies, in its proper sequence (something I've threatened to do with the original Star Wars trilogy and its later prequels, but yet to sit down and do).
4 / B
- Paul Blom
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