The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition (Blu-ray) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, Fantasy
Director: Peter Jackson
Distributor: Warner Home Video
Duration: 163 minutes

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition (Blu-ray) – Movie Review

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Good: Story, Environments used, Cast, Hefty amount of extra features
Bad: Still not sure if it was necessary to split everything in three movies
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A lot has happened since Bilbo Baggins left his safe and comfortable home in the shire behind to be employed by Thorin Oakenshield as a burglar, which is quite an uncommon task to hire a hobbit for. This third part of the trilogy will situate itself after Smaug was accidentally woken up, now reigning terror on the small village of Laketown. It seems the companionship is unable to help the city, at least not without the black arrow, the only thing that can kill the dragon. Nonetheless, it seems that the dragon might be the least of Bilbo’s worries.


With Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and Thorin (Richard Armitage) and the rest of the dwarves stuck at the Lonely Mountain, they see the Laketown being set ablaze by Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch). There is nothing they can do, except to see it all become consumed by the flames. Luckily, Bard (Luke Evans) is still in the village, and even though he has to break free from prison first, he will not let the village go down without a fight. After a fierce battle with the dragon, who is immune to all of the arrows Bard fires at him, Bard’s son comes through with the ultimate weapon, namely the black arrow. Thanks to this the dragon is easily vanquished, sadly not before many lives are lost and the village is razed to the ground. Nonetheless, a small celebration is in order, as the dragon is slain and Thorin recaptures his castle within the mountain.

Sadly, reality soon kicks in when the inhabitants of Laketown have to search refuge in the ruins of Dale surrounding the mountain and by that time it is clear that Thorin is already struck with the ‘dragon sickness’, which blackens his heart, thinking only of the gold within the mountain. Due to this Thorin trusts no one anymore, not even his own fellow dwarves. He comes back to his promise to the people of Laketown, who would receive a reward and to make matters even worse, the Elves are at the doorstep of the mountain as well, reclaiming a treasure of theirs which was lost inside the rocky keep. Again Thorin refuses, forcing the Elves to go to war, which they don’t mind at all, seeing Thranduil (Lee Pace) is not fond of the Dwarves anyway.


In the meanwhile Gandalf (Ian McKellen)is still trying to break free from his imprisonment by the Necromancer (Benedict Cumberbatch), as he wishes to warn the rest of the world of the Orc army that is headed towards the lonely mountain. Luckily Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), Saruman (Christopher Lee) and Elrond (Hugo Weaving) manage to break Gandalf free from his grim prison. Sadly, time is still of the essence to reach the rest before all hell breaks loose.

Even though this third movie is also around two and a half hours in length, the pace is very pleasant. Whilst it was surely possible to wrap everything up in less than two hours, some scenes take their time in order to set the right mood and to see certain characters’ psyche (d)evolve. This makes the movie also a tad more personal, as it’s not only about the battles being fought, but also what is going on in the heads of different characters.

Even though The Battle of the Five Armies is filled to the brim with CGI scenes, they are never bothersome and truth be told, all of them are actually quite grand. Battle scenes have been well thought out and other sequences look lifelike, which sometimes make you forget it’s a CGI scene. Nonetheless, the unique backdrops provided by the beautiful locations add a lot to the realism and make you fall in love with many of the sceneries you’ll be able to see throughout the movie.


With a massive cast such as this one, it’s only natural that acting performances are phenomenal. You’ll have an array of people who already stand out on their own, but now many of those actors have to work together, which pretty much makes them explode on the little screen. Even side characters offer quality.

This extended Blu-ray edition comes with a hefty amount of extras, all along the same line, but nonetheless rather amazing ones. You’ll be treated to more than nine hours of bonus content, all having to do with the making of this wondrous trilogy. You’ll see in-depth documentaries about the three year lasting road to making the trilogy, with detailed documentaries about different scenes, events during the filming, the crew, the locations and so on, with a few small witty bonuses thrown into the mix to make things even more interesting. You’ll notice that a lot of the extras will also talk about the original The Lord of the Rings trilogy, providing fun extra content for the longtime fans.


This extended edition of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is a must have for diehard fans of the franchise. Not only the movie is great, the extras on the disc truly show how Tolkien’s tales came to life in this epic adventure. We were sad to see the end of this saga of Lord of the Rings/Hobbit related content and we can only hope that other Tolkien stories will see their way to the big screen one day.


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