ShOR 365: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Photo Credit: MGM/New Line/Warner Bros.

I told you I’d be making up for being behind. Expect at least two more reviews to hit you over the head today! I hope you guys don’t mind but I am having so much fun and, well, I am behind so I might as well inundate you with tons of reviews.

This next one rounds out The Hobbit trilogy and I have a lot of feels. Please bear with me. Also, spoilers abound in this review.

The Battle of the Five Armies wrecked me. End of discussion. End of story. Bar none the worst movie I had to sit through that I absolutely loved. No filmmaker should be praised for their understated killing of so many characters than Peter Jackson. He knows exactly what to do to make you feel like you just as helpless as the situation our merry band of dwarves find themselves by the end of the film. The movie is one big battle and it’s as exhausting as it sounds but it’s so dang good.

First off, let me just talk about Thranduil (Lee Pace). The Elvenking has the iciest heart in Middle Earth but that doesn’t stop me from loving him. The casting directors made the best choice at casting Pace. I don’t think that any other actor could’ve delivered such a performance filled with emotionless emotion than Pace. Yes, it’s the biggest oxymoron I think I could put in a review but it’s so true and accurate that there’s no other way to describe it. Pace is an actor who has mastered the art of acting with his eyes and that’s what drew me to the character of Thrandruil. He’s lost so much and he loses even more by the end of this film but he shows it in ways that are hard to see if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Rather, it’s hard to see if you happen to simply focus on how much of a bastard he tends to be. I probably could spend an entire review just on Thranduil. He is such an interesting character and I really want more of him.

But, enough about Thranduil.

The Battle of the Five Armies, again, picks up where The Desolation of Smaug left off. The dwarves and Bilbo have released Smaug from the castle at Erebor and he proceeds to destroy Lake-town, leveling it with fire and brimstone before Bard the Bowman strikes him dead. But that’s just the last of Bilbo’s and Bard’s problems. Thorin begins showing symptoms of dragon-sickness around all the gold in Erebor. He becomes so mad with greed that he doesn’t let the refugees from Lake-town into Erebor for fear that they’d steal his gold. Thranduil arrives with provisions from the Woodland realm for Lake-town but Thranduil is only interested in a few white stones made of starlight. When Thorin doesn’t give Lake-town or Thrandruil their parts of the gold, Thrandruil declares war on the dwarves. However, there is more coming and soon, it isn’t just a war between the dwarves and the elves, it’s a war for Erebor and their lives.

I have two words for the heart-wrenching deaths that occurred in this battle: Fili and Kili. Cue dramatic crying. But, honestly, I didn’t cry until Thorin died and Bilbo found him and begged him to hold on. Not only did I cry then but I also cried when Tauriel and Thranduil were talking about love over Kili’s dead body. So many tears. So much pain. (Especially Thranduil when he admitted that the love she felt for Kili was real.) It was so well acted and so beautiful. Freeman, Armitage, Pace, and Lily really nailed it.

The fight scenes, I think, were the second best things of this film. There was so much that was different between the fighting styles of the orcs, the dwarves, the elves, and the humans. It was definitely choreographed to perfection. Jackson knows how to handle the nuances of all of these different creatures and it, unsurprisingly, shows in the epic battles presented in this film. I really enjoyed glimpsing that bit of filmmaking. It was refreshing. No one else could have handled that level of finite detail like Jackson did. He truly was the only filmmaker that could truly handle this epic and he did it with such style and such finesse.

Also, my love for Galadriel multiplied tenfold in this film. I won’t spoil any more than I’ve already spoiled but she is such an amazing character and she showed her true power in one very important and poignant scene that I think I could watch over and over again. I can’t wait to see Cate Blanchett slay even harder in Lord of the Rings.

All stories must end and, though this story is finished, I am extremely lucky to be able to watch the rest of the series before school starts and be able to revel in this masterful storytelling. J.R.R Tolkien is a genius and Jackson captured that genius really well. The Battle of the Five Armies was a more than fitting end to a franchise that has captured the imaginations of people around the world. Kudos to everyone involved. It was truly a wonderful thrill ride.


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