FanBolt had the opportunity to catch the final installment of The Hobbit series before it hits theaters. After having watched The Desolation of Smaug and felt every single one of its 161 minutes, I have to admit that I was not going into The Battle of the Five Armies with the highest of expectations. By the time the lights dimmed in the theater, I was already lamenting the fact that I hadn’t laid in provisions for this last 2 hours and 24 minutes in Middle Earth.
Surprisingly, that was the last time I thought about something off the screen for the rest of the film. Battle of the Five Armies was a fast-paced spectacle of a movie, blessedly free of the “Climb Every Mountain” walking scenes and slightly-too-long chases of its predecessors. Fair warning: if fight scenes aren’t your bag, there are many in this film. (Also, maybe you shouldn’t be seeing a movie with the words “battle” and “armies” in the title.) If you ARE a movie fight aficionado, you should be aware that some of the battle sequences border on the trope-ish, causing what I feel sure was unintentional comedy. My apologies to anyone in the screening who was disturbed by my giggling during “dramatic” moments.
Richard Armitage and Martin Freeman absolutely kill, surprising approximately no one. Lee Pace has his moments, but I couldn’t help but think that he was constantly on the verge of an extremely huffy hair flip. Perils of playing an elf, I suppose.
All in all, I would definitely see this one again. It’s a masterful ending to what has been a somewhat mediocre series. Make sure to stay long enough into the credits to hear Billy Boyd’s “The Last Goodbye.” You won’t regret it!
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies hits theaters today, December 17th!