Film review: The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies (4 out of 5)

Little did we know back in 2001 when the first Lord of the Rings movie arrived that our journey through Middle-Earth would take us the next 13 years to complete.

Back then DVDs were a luxury item and the inventor of the Blu-Ray had only recently had their ‘eureka’ moment.

Martin Freeman as Bilbo. SUS-141212-183953001

Martin Freeman as Bilbo. SUS-141212-183953001

Of course, we’ve had things back to front but this final instalment of The Hobbit ties things up nicely ready for us all to give the Lord of the Rings trilogy another viewing.

If you haven’t seen last year’s previous Hobbit movie at all you’ll be a rather confused and even if you have it’s worth bunging it on the DVD player again before you see this last one to jog the memory.

At the end of The Desolation of Smaug, the fire-breathing dragon (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) was ready to lay waste the nearby human settlement.

Bard the bowman (Luke Evans) was locked up, Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellan) was also in deep trouble.

The movie has to resolve those issues and then we have Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and the rest of the gang reclaiming the dwarf kingdom, a mass of gold and then fighting off the various armies who appear.

It’s a fitting finale, with oodles of action but it’s also a very sad film.

This element surprised me and I defy anyone not to be moved by some very excellent acting from the likes of Martin Freeman, Evangeline Lilly and Richard Armitage.

In fact we could have had less fighting, more acting.

As you would expect, director Peter Jackson has made full use of the sweeping New Zealand backdrops again.

The fight scenes are as impressive as ever and it’s worth coughing up the extra cash for the 3D which does add to the experience.

The only thing to do now is plan a marathon Middle-Earth weekend once the final DVD hits the shelves.

Film details: The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies (12A) 144mins

Director: Peter Jackson

Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol