THE HOBBIT: The Battle of the Five Armies review
Star Cast: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Luke Evans, Aidan Turner
Director: Peter Jackson
And so it ends. After five films, 13 years and at least 17 Academy awards, the tale of Middle Earth on the big screen has drawn to a close.
You could say about time.
‘The Hobbit’ had already started running out of steam by The Desolation of the Smaug last year, and among the few good things you can say about The Battle of the Five Armies is that there are only five armies. Some more and the battles of this film, endless and relentless, would have left even less of a time for any dialogue.
In the time they are not running at each other at full trot — impressive only a few times and then increasingly foolhardy — holding aloft swords, arrows, axes, maces, hammers, giant rocks, and the like, you can marvel at Jackson and his faithful co-screenwriters’ commitment to the story as well as the loyalty of his cast that keeps returning in the same straggly hairstyles and ungainly clothes. There has scarce been such a motley collection in one frame for such a long time ever.
In story terms, nothing much happens in The Battle of the Five Armies. Once the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) is slayed by Bard (Evans), and the dwarves led by Thorin (Armitage) capture the mountain and its treasure, everybody lays claim to it. That includes humans of the Dale led by Bard, the Elves, the Orcs and the dwarves themselves.
Thorin, turned by the power of the treasure, chooses greed over his commitment to share the gold, but you know that won’t last very long. With that stand of Thorin, the film makes a feeble point about how such lust for money has hurt mankind, but it remains a feeble point.
Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins stands the tallest and the most honourable of them all. From the man who has come to define loyalty and friendship, both on the big and small screens, why aren’t we surprised?
Farewell, lord of the ring.