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The Hobbit : The Battle of the Five Armies – Review


Release Date: 14th December 2014
Director: Peter Jackson
Writer: Fran Walsh - Philippa Boyens - Peter Jackson - Guillermo del Toro [Screenplay] - J.R.R. Tolkien [Novel]
Cast: Ian McKellen - Martin Freeman - Richard Armitage - Benedict Cumberbatch - Luke Evans - Orlando Bloom



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Posted December 16, 2014 by

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The Hobbit : The Battle of the Five Armies Review:

What a journey. It all started in 2001, with the very first ‘Lord of the Rings’, ‘the Fellowship of the Ring’, and through all these years Peter Jackson were able to accompany us into this amazing universe that is the Middle Earth he created. This ‘Battle of the Five Armies’ closes the story, ends the journey, seals the myth. I like to wonder if J.R.R. Tolkien, the Father of this universe, would be proud of the work of Jackson, as much as I like to imagine that, sometimes in the future, someone else will try and take up the challenge and propose his own filmed version of the story. Yet we can’t disagree that Jackson did take up the challenge, and succeeded.

This being said, I can’t positively say that I’ve enjoyed this ‘Battle of the Five Armies’, and for way too much reason that I could believe Jackson would give me. Don’t get me wrong : the film has many good aspects, such as the action, the photography, some of the special effects are truly amazing, the performance of actors such as Richard Armitage (Thörin) is quite perfect. But, as once said Bilbo in the ‘Fellowship’ : “I feel like a nut of butter, stretch on a far too long piece of bread”. It’s even worst than that, considering the fact that the film seems voluntarily to overbotch the job : at the end of the battle, all of the remaining character gladly go home, in less than ten minutes, but no information is given on the whereabouts of the Arkenstone, which was the main object of the story, comparable to the Ring in the ‘Lord of the Rings’. Some of the deceased character are quickly forgotten as well, with no real explaination : “Thörin will tonight enter the Legend”, right… what about Kili and Fili then ? I’m really confused about that especially when I remembered a specific scene of their funerals in the book, that would not be difficult to script or to direct.

Speaking of the respect of the book, yes, Jackson took some liberties for each and every films. Yes, sometimes it is arguable, sometimes we can understand why, sometimes it’s frustrating (I still can’t believe he got rid of Tom Bombadil in the ‘Fellowship’), but sometimes it is completely irrelevant. Why, god why, creating a character such as Tauriel, whose only purpose is to give some romance in the story ?? It’s not even romantic, it’s cliché ! In the cliché ideas, Jackson offered a fan service worthy of the lamest B series, quoting his own ‘Lord of the Rings’ sentences, as a desperate attempt to please a randomly unconvinced viewer. It’s really disturbing, again, since he really managed to created bridges and gap in the narrations between ‘the Hobbit’ and ‘the Lord of the Rings’. At last (but sadly not least), the running gag around the character that is Alfrid is fun the one or two first times, but the gag becomes quickly irritable to a fault.

If some visual effects are a true success (the Battle between Galadriel, Saroumane, Elrond and the to-become Nazgüls and the to-become Sauron, for instance), some are completely dumb (the sequence where Legolas jumps from steps to steps as the tower he’s on collapses, for instance), and, once again, the 3D is superfluous. It is sweet to the eye to appreciate the deepness of a photography, but I’m not sure that 3D was absolutely necessary for this soil purpose.

So… yes, the movie is fun, is a pure Jackson product, but I couldn’t help myself feeling the lack of motivations, somehow, that I found so thrilling and exciting in ‘the Lord of the Ring’. And now that this new trilogy is over, I can’t help myself thinking that, maybe, Jackson should have left the task to someone else, like he planned to do back in the origins of the ‘Hobbit’ project, although I’m quite certain that Guillermo del Toro wouldn’t be able to do the job (yes, I’m difficult).

The saddest thing is, whenever we will talk about these six films in the future and say to a friend : “Hey, remember Peter Jackson ?” you can bet that the answer will be “Yeah, the ‘Lord of the Rings’ guy !”. We won’t be able to remember ‘the Hobbit’ as good as the ‘Lord of the Rings’, not only for the reasons above (which are only a critic to the ‘Battle of the Five Armies’, not on the entire ‘Hobbit’ trilogy) but for this feeling of incompleteness and hastiness, quite like if Jackson would have done his job reluctantly. I’m sure he was glad to do it, but it’s the feeling that remains after seeing the whole ‘Hobbit’ trilogy. I’m only hoping that, for his future projects, he will be able to find some topics that will enable him to renew himself, and give him the opportunity to amaze us like he knew how to, not so long ago…


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Theo Tessa
Freelance Contributor


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