#REVIEW: “THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES”
Review by Jonathan Godfrey for Mr. Will Wong
It is the end of an era, the cinematic mythology of Middle-Earth has come to a close. This, the latest and last of the Hobbit Tales, begins exactly where the last one left off. Smaug has been awakened by a gaggle of gold hungry Dwarves, and as a result the Dragon releases his wrath upon the nearby Lake-town. As the fires burn Bard (Luke Evans) finds the courage to fulfill his destiny and slay the foul Beast. It’s an enchanting opening sequence, and once news of the event spreads within the Story, the villages nearby amass their Armies and make way for the Dwarves’ new stronghold.
Having accomplished his task, Thorin Oakenshield sets about establishing his Kingdom. This is where Richard Armitage gets to show his true acting chops. As a Thespian with respectable experience in the Shakespearean realm, it is little wonder why he should excel at playing the multi-dimensional Oligarch. Oakenshield is a mix of Hamlet, Richard II and the inspiring Henry V. A bevy of scenes celebrate him as King, and within each he reminds us of those grand theatrical Kings of Yesteryear.
Be all of that as it may, it is of course Bilbo Baggins that steals the show. Martin Freeman is an exceptional Talent. There are not enough words afforded to blogging to do him and his talent justice. His ability to elevate the performances of those around him is commendable. He, like Bilbo, is the member of the Company that makes it work out so well in the end. That said the Hobbit does have a plethora of Scene-stealers throughout. A few that will be mentioned out of the joy to do so include Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly). Although they are additions to the Novel’s telling of the Tale, they are for the second time in a row, welcome ones. Lastly, because he is arguably the coolest cast member, Lee Pace must be acknowledged. His memorable portrayal of Thranduil, King of the Woodland Realm, is as picturesque as the wardrobe they adorn him in.
Costuming, Character Design, Weaponry, Sets, Practical Effects and CGI are at a level surpassed only by the Star Wars Franchise. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies flexes all of its assets, a certified sight to behold. Iconic Helmer Peter Jackson gets the highest praise, bringing it all back to the beginning in such a beautiful way. A sheer pleasure which must be seen to be believed.
Warner Bros. Pictures Canada release THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES on Wednesday, December 17, 2014.