Next week, the movie that will presumably be the last movie set in Middle-Earth will hit cinemas. We’ve already seen it and here’s our review of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
This is it, guys, the final movie in the Hobbit-trilogy. This is where it all ends. Smaug, orcs, wizards, dwarves, men and elves all meet for this one final clash. After three Lord of the Rings films that singlehandedly redefined how movies can work and two equally awesome Hobbit films, this movie presents reviewers with a rather interesting problem. There’s very little we can actually say about the movie as a work. Because, let’s face it, by now, everyone going into the cinema knows exactly what to expect.
- A very credible world
- Phenomenal CGI
- Great costumes
- Amazing acting
- Fantastic sets
And that’s exactly what we get in this final movie. So let’s skip the part where we describe the incredible CGI and whatnot. Instead, let’s focus on the movie’s true strength. The movie is about much more than how it was done. This is a movie about men, women, heroes, cowards and sacrifice.
Tauriel – Warrior Elf of Awesome
The most impressive thing about the movie is the characterization of all the characters in it. Most prominently is very probably Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly), the elf. In the previous movies, it was implied that her and Kili (Aidan Turner) were in love. This was something many a fan of the book was upset about, because Tauriel doesn’t appear at all in the original book.
However that may be, she’s a worthy character to be in the movies and the story with Kili finds an incredible ending. Because here’s the thing. It would have been an easy one to make her the Damsel in Distress. But she really wasn’t. In fact, during the climactic Battle of the Five Armies, nobody is incapable or incompetent. The dwarves fight amazingly well and Billy Connolly appears, too. This is a bit of a personal thing for me, but everything Connolly does is amazing.
Friendship Like No Other
Anyways, back to the characterization. The most amazing thing is that the characters in Bilbo’s party are friends. They’re not just people with the same goal who share a bit of way together. They’re not just allies. They’re friends. They go through thick and thin. And even when the movie’s main theme sets in, they remain friends.
The overarching theme of the movie is greed because after Smaug’s defeat, the treasure in the Lonely Mountain was up for grabs. The dwarves around Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) have control over it, but the men of Lake-Town want some of the money for their very own and ultimately at least somewhat noble reasons. Besides, Thorin gave his word. The problem is, though, that he got the Dragon’s Sickness, almost uncontrollable greed. Thorin won’t give up a single gold coin in his treasure.
Still, Thorin is – in his heart – all the way through, a good guy. In fact, there’s a scene between him and Bilbo that shows this like no other scene could. There are many such vignettes that illustrate a character trait or two nicely without losing said character aspect later on.
A little sidenote here: A year ago, I got the chance to talk to Aidan Turner and Dean O’Gorman who are the dwarves Kili and Fili in the movies. During the interview, I asked him about how both actors and Peter Jackson manage to portray such intimate friendships between men without them coming across as being in love for a second. Because these men will die for each other, but not out of romantic love. It is a bond of respect and admiration. They shed tears, they laugh, they fight wars alongside each other. Aidan Turner answered the question as to why they don’t come across as gay. «Easy», said Aidan Turner, «because they just aren’t.» And that’s really all there is to it.
A Worthy Ending
So this movie is titled the The Battle of the Five Armies and that’s pretty much it. Five armies duke it out for treasure. But it’s not the amazing looking battle that make the movie outstanding. It’s the people fighting. Bowman, Gandalf, even Azog and Thorin Oakenshield, they are what makes this movie the great event that it is.
So by all means, go see it, lean back and enjoy Middle-Earth for one last time.