The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies

"This was the last move in a master plan...a plan long in the making."   - Gandalf

release year: 2014
genre: fantasy
viewing setting: home Bluray 5/3/18 and 3/24/15

synopsis: After the great dragon Smaug is slain, all sorts of people head that way in hopes of getting his vast hoard of treasure..

impressions: This was the final chapter in this trilogy, and also served as a bridge of sorts to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. This one was good, but felt a little disjointed with all the switching between multiple events. There were good battles: first the dragon and then the orcs, with side battles scattered throughout.

acting: As before, there are dozens of roles; I'll just mention the ones that stood out to me. Martin Freeman is Bilbo, who's small but seems to make some big decisions at the right times. Richard Armitage is Thorin, leader of the dwarves on their quest; here, he temporarily loses his mind to treasure-lust. Ian McKellen is the wizard Gandalf, who actually doesn't seem to use much powerful magic in battles. Benedict Cumberbatch provides the voice of the dragon Smaug. Luke Evans is Bard the bowman, who cares about the welfare of his people and is the only one willing to try and fight the dragon. Manu Bennett is the vicious, scarred orc chief Azog. Evangeline Lilly is the (non-canon) elf warrior-woman Tauriel, who tends to think for herself instead of blindly obeying orders. Orlando Bloom reappears as the elf Legolas, who's quite competent in battle. Lee Pace is Legloas' father the Elvenking, who finally becomes less of a jackass this time.

final word: The final chapter in the second epic trilogy based on Tolkien's material; well-done and worth owning and re-watching.

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