Peter Jackson's work on Middle Earth is sadly over. The Lord of the Rings is easily my favorite film trilogy of all time. The Hobbit trilogy, while admittedly not needing to be a trilogy, is still a cinematic landmark that takes us on a journey to a land of dragons and magic rings. Battle of the Five Armies not only had to conclude one trilogy, but also had to connect to another. This task was last attempted, unsuccessfully I might add, by Revenge of the Sith.
Now first, it must be stated that the Hobbit trilogy is not as good as Lord of the Rings. But how could it be? Honestly, it's based off a light -hearted book while LOTR is based off a very heavy novel filled with themes of friendship and such. So to compare The Hobbit to Lord of the Rings really isn't fair.
With that tid bit out of the way, how was the movie? In a word, fulfilling. It picks up right where Desolation of Smaug left off. After Smaug *spoiler* (not really) dies, the treasure of Erabor is now up for grabs, and the everyone wants their fair share. On one side, we have the men a Laketown, the army of the elves of the Woodland realm, and the dwarves under the command of Thorin's cousin Dane. On the other side, we have Azog's army of orcs from Sauron's old fortress and an entirely seperate orc army from the domain of The Witch-King of Angmar. Do the math and you have your Battle of the Five Armies. And what a battle it is!
First, the acting is superb. We have the returning talent of Ian McKellen as Gandalf. No need to discuss him because, well, he's simply awesome. Next, we have Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins. Freeman still manages his comedic charm into the role, portraying the hobbit who was hilariously unprepared for this journey with brilliant acting. Orlando Bloom and the rest of the cast are great too, but the one i really want to talk about is Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. Absolutely awesome! Armitage really makes you believe that Thorin is turning into his grandfather, from the lustful look in his eyes to the way he carries himself, Richard perfectly mirrors what we saw of Thror on the first film. It's actually pretty creepy how he portrays Thorin as a king with a rather Shakespearean style of mindset. In other words, the money and Arkenstone come before everything else.
Another plus is the action.t's Peter Jackson's style of action. What else can I say? However, all the action subtracted from the more dramatic moments of the film. Although, my sister was sobbing at certain deaths in the film. So that's just my opinion.
Lastly, the way this film bridges from one trilogy to the next is so unbelievably satisfying(at least for this fanboy).
In conclusion, while not perfect, the final film in The Hobbit trilogy is very satisfying to view. It features great acting, really good action, and a very good transition from The Hobbit trilogy to The Lord of the Rings. As an additional plus, Billy Boyd's (Pippin from LOTR) song during the credits will make you feel nostalgic and sad and happy at the same time.