At long last, “The Hobbit” trilogy comes to an end with this third installment of the story. There are so many stories within “The Hobbit” and “The
Lord of the Rings” franchise that I won’t be surprised if more are told on the big screen.
I wonder if someone will attempt to film “The Silmarillion,” although it would be a massive undertaking, as the book, published posthumously by J.R.R. Tolkien’s son Christopher, describes the universe that encompasses the lands of Valinor, ￼Beleriand, Numenor and Middle-earth. I hope someone does. If so, I’m not sure it
￼will be Peter Jackson, but anything could happen.
￼”The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” picks up right where the last ￼installment, “The Desolation of Smaug,” ended. The dragon Smaug (voiced by ￼Benedict Cumberbatch) swoops down from the Lonely Mountain and rains fire on ￼the people of neighboring Lake-town. He is one murderous dragon, and ￼Cumberbatch provides the perfect voice – deeply terrifying and delicious.
￼Meanwhile, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Thorin Oakenshield (Richard ￼Armitage) and the company of dwarves are within the mountain, where Thorin is ￼obsessed with protecting his reclaimed treasure — the massive amounts of gold ￼and jewels, including the coveted Arkenstone, which he has yet to uncover. ￼Armitage could easily have over-acted this storyline, but skillfully walked that fine ￼line of madness.
￼After the noble Bard (Luke Evans), who’s perhaps my favorite character in this ￼movie because of his strength and love for his children, leads the survivors of
￼Lake-town to safety, he meets elf king Thranduil (Lee Pace), who’s brought an ￼army to secure the elf treasures from the mountain. But Thorin, who’s gone
￼completely over the edge with gold lust, refuses to part with even one coin.
￼As the elves and humans prepare to fight the dwarves, an even bigger threat is
￼headed their way — Orcs.
￼I really loved this movie and actually saw it twice — once to review and once with ￼my husband and son, both Tolkien fans. I wasn’t sure about splitting “The Hobbit” ￼into three films, but it makes sense after seeing “Battle of the Five Armies.” We ￼needed that expansion of the story, even though some fans might be miffed at ￼the inclusion of Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) and Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and ￼Tauriel’s romance with the dwarf Kili (Aidan Turner).
￼It’s probably good to see the previous two “Hobbit” movies before seeing this ￼one, but even if you don’t, there’s enough backstory to get you up to speed.
￼Director Peter Jackson has crafted a fine ending to the trilogy, with heartbreaking ￼sacrifices, emotional friendships, amazing special effects (I recommend seeing it ￼in 3D), stunning cinematography, lovely music, and a story that honors Tolkien’s ￼work.
￼I especially love seeing the evolution of the relationship between Thorin and ￼Bilbo, which started out so tenuous at the beginning and grew into a deep
￼While there are a few loose ends that didn’t get wrapped up, my husband ￼predicts they’ll probably be resolved in the “extended edition” of the DVD and
Reel Rating: 5 out of 5 Reels
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images
Best for Ages: 13+
Genre: Fantasy, Based on a Book, Sequel, Action/Adventure
Runtime: 144 minutes
Directed by: Peter Jackson
Studio: Warner Bros.
Cast: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage
JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM:
One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.
Jane Boursaw is a well-known film critic and editor-in-chief of Reel Life With Jane. Images used in this review courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.