You’ll be forgiven for feeling a bit of déjà vu, just hoping that perhaps this isn’t the last chapter in an endlessly captivating saga. Unfortunately, this is the end – The Battle Of The Five Armies is the final film in The Hobbit trilogy.
Starting where The Desolation Of Smaug left off, Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) now has the freedom to pursue his rightful throne with the help of Bilbo (Martin Freeman). There’s just one catch – an Orc army is advancing upon the mountain.
It’s an all-out treat for the eyes, to be sure, as the intimidating titular armies approach and clash along the picturesque mountainsides in a 45-minute battle sequence. Not to mention tons of beautiful CGI-built creatures and figures in the form of the vast, enveloping soldiers; Thranduil’s magnificent, foolhardy elk; and the character of Dain (Billy Connolly).
But we’ve seen this all before – battles, armies, awe-inspiring CGI and tons and tons of mountains? Well, yes. The Battle Of The Five Armies is a film that reflects very heavily on The Lord Of The Rings. It’s a tiny bit disappointing that there are so many similarities, considering how unique the other two Hobbit films were in comparison.
However, The Battle Of The Five Armies does make up for these parallels with its own quirks. Alfrid (Ryan Gage)’s sly demeanour and one-liners are a welcome pause button amidst the storm that rages on with the armies.
The kinship of the Dwarves shine throughout, arguably more so than the Fellowship; while Thorin’s redemption, after refusing to help Dain, involves engaging in a dicey, heart-stopping fight with Azog on top of moving ice sheets.
The Battle Of The Five Armies does ring some similar bells to The Lord Of The Rings series, but there is enough distance between the two trilogies to give the former a satisfying clang. After all, it’s not often you get to see Billy Connolly rendered in CG – pig and everything.