The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies

It may be hard to believe, but “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings” came out in December, 2001. The trilogy went on to become one of the highest grossing and most popular movies of all time culminating in a sweep at the Oscars in 2004. Everyone was clamoring for the filmmakers to bring “The Hobbit” to the big screen, but legal troubles kept it from happening for years. When Peter Jackson and crew was finally able to make the movie it was announced that it would be split up into two movies, “An Unexpected Journey” and “There and Back Again.” Then came the news that this one small book (less than 350 pages) would be turned into three movies! The third and final chapter, “The Battle of the Five Armies” opens today, December 17 and you can really feel the affects of these movies being so drawn out in this final farewell to the series.

“The Hobbit: The battles of the Five Armies” picks up immediately where the last movie left off. Bilbo (Martin Freeman), Thorin (Richard Armitage) and the rest of the dwarves have taken back the Lonely Mountain and the massive treasure that lies within. However, word of this quickly spreads and everyone wants a piece of them including the people of Lake Town, Thranduil and his band of elves and Azog with his army of Orcs. It doesn’t help matters that Thorin has gone a little cuckoo like his grandfather before him.


While a majority of the movie is the big battle, there is a lot of set up the audience must sit through before it gets there. That is something else to point out, all of these movies have had a hefty running time attached to them. Amazingly, of all six movies, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” is the shortest of them all. Still. you can’t help but to feel that this chapter was unnecessarily lengthened to help get this one last move into the fold. One aspect you can’t argue, it was a great business decision by the studio. Since this is most likely to be the last J.R.R. Tolkien movie ever, it should generate great sums of money.

If you do elect to see “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” your best option is at an IMAX theater in the High Frame Rate 3D format. You may recall Peter Jackson deciding to shoot his movie at 48 frames per-second and not the normal frame rate which is 24. You can’t argue with the results. The picture is so clear that it almost looks like you are watching a live performance. The world class 3D effects only emphasizes this point.

Of the six movies, it’s a toss up on which one is less entertaining between this entry or the first Hobbit movie. Music is used too often in the movie and sometimes the music used does not match as well as it did in the original “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. As the battle moves along, it gets better and audiences should get into it by the end. While this movie is not as good as “The Return of the King” was, it doesn’t suffer from the “multiple endings” that movie did. “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” does a nice job of wrapping the series all up. It is PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence and frightening images.