ByMichael Glover, writer at

The final, defining chapter of director Peter Jackson's epic Hobbit trilogy picks up right where part two ended. Bilbo Baggins and company have finally taken back the Lonely Mountain from the mighty Smaug. Now tey must face their toughest challenge yet, defending the Mountain as they are forced into war against all sorts of evil foes all destined to take it for themselves.

Jackson once again manages to put together one great film, but is it as good as it could have been? Maybe not, but that does not take away the things that the film did right. Just as with the first two films in the trilogy, the movie's biggest flaw is that it is the third part of a series of movies that are based on just one book. By stretching one story into three films, it forced the filmmakers to add some things and make some tweaks so that each film would have it own beginning, middle, and end which can be seen as a good thing and as a bad thing as well. It allows Jackson to take his time and do justice to the most important aspects of the book such as building the relationship between Bilbo, Gandalf and the dwarves as well as him gaining the fabled ring from Gollum, encountering the dragon Smaug, and now capping it off with this big epic battle between the five armies as the title suggests.

While those moments are done beautifully and are arguably what make each film as great as they are, there are more than a few moments and scenes either changed or added to the story, such as Gandalf's subplot where we see just what he got up to when he left the dwarves and Bilbo alone for several days at a time, which is all interesting stuff, but also things that just don't work. Characters that have little time in the book are annoyingly stretched out and are written terribly and adding Legolas in the mix, which Jackson finds an impressive way to actually make him fit in the films so I'll give that one some slack. But perhaps this last film's biggest flaw is a completely pointless and unnecessary romantic subplot between Evangeline Lilly's Elf character and one of the dwarves (played by Aidan Turner), among other elements and plot lines that really don't go anywhere. The romance, however, is the worst of them all, it's just not believable, the way it's written just doesn't sit well and makes it feel so out of place that I couldn't buy into their "love" even if I wanted to. It's not even in the book why does it have to be in the film? Total waste of screen time. The only good thing I can say about it is that the actors performances are fine and they do have good chemistry, but that isn't enough to make it work.

The score, however, is once again stellar and the overall performances from the cast is superb. Specifically Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, not one other actor could play this character as portrayed in these films like him. His sense of delivery and natural ability to say so much and show so much emotion with even the littlest of dialog is unmatched.

The big battle during the film's climax, while being perhaps a bit long, is done very well. Staged with such skill, it truly makes this film feel the most like a true prequel to the famous Lord of The Rings trilogy. Showcasing epic scale while never losing focus on the main characters and their development even during all the chaos. These films are not the best straight adaptation, but still manage to stand on their own and this one in particular brings another epic trilogy to a very satisfying, yet a bit bitter sweet, end.

The Hobbit: Battle of The Five Armies is a must see, I give it a 4/5.


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