As Smaug breathes fire and destruction onto Laketown, another sort of dragon-danger threatens Thorin Oakenshield - the gold madness that seized his Grandsire Thror. The people of Laketown flee to the ruins of Dale, in the shadow of the Lonely Mountain, only to be greeted by an army of Elves led by Thranduil, marching there too. Asking Thorin for their own fair share of the gold, Men and Elves are answered by Dwarvish defiance. However, there are things far more important than gold. With an army at their doorstep, everyone must put aside their feuds and stand together for one more battle, a battle of the five armies; the Dwarves of Erebor and the Iron Hills, The Elves of the Woodland Realm, The Humans of Laketown, and The Eagles lead by Radagast and Beorn.
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I would first like to point out that if you watched The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies in theaters or on the television and you don’t think that the battle scenes were as epic as they could have been, well then I have to inform you that version you saw was the Director’s Cut. When director Peter Jackson submitted the final version of the film be rated the first time the film came back with a Rated-R, and this was mostly due to the battle scenes. Because of this Peter Jackson had to severely cut back on the battle scenes by a good 30 minutes; rather bloody, feature dismemberment and decapitations, and all this is accompanied life-like sounds. Now the Extended Edition has received a Rated-R rating, of course, this rating is debatable but that is dependent upon the person watching the film. Overall, the Extended Edition has, without question, been mostly extended by violence.
On another note, when I saw The Desolation of Smaug I thought that it was my favorite Hobbit movie but boy was I wrong. The Battle of the Five Armies is now my all time favorite in The Hobbit Trilogy. The film starts pretty much where The Desolation of Smaug ends - Smaug attacking Laketown - with scenes of epic destruction and fire, and then the film ends with a sense of peace and underlying anticipation for the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Not everything in this world gets what it deserves but this trilogy, which hooked me in the first installment in 2012, gets the EXACT culmination which it deserved; it was grand and fulfilling. The first two installments can only be described as a growing crescendo that the both the main and supporting character have very nicely built up to an epic finale battle. An Unexpected Journey introduces us to the main characters and while Thorin is rather reluctant in allowing the hobbit Bilbo Baggins to join them on their journey, he learns that Bilbo Baggins is far more resourceful than he seems – this is something that we see throughout the entire trilogy; a growing friendship between Thorin and Bilbo. In The Desolation of Smaug, we learn more about the feud between elves and dwarves, the depths of some men’s greed, and that your size does not define how big your courage is. In conclusion, from the opening scene, the fact pace and multi-layered war grab your attention; you can’t breathe or look away for even a moment lest you miss anything vital in this ultimately gripping final. Each scene is more mind-blowing and passionate than the next, and when the intense pace of a profound final battle finally ends you are left breathless. This allows for a more calming and comforting pace that gives way towards an equally and highly satisfactory finale that has been building for the last three years; a finale that can be picked up, most assuredly, in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
“Farewell, Master Burglar. Go back to your books and your armchair. Plant your trees and watch them grow. If more people valued home above gold then this world would be a merrier place.”
- Thorin Oakenshield
Final VoteWorth Seeing: 5 of 5 starsWorth Buying: 5 of 5 stars
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of the Five Armies (2014). Battle
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