13 years since it began, with The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, and, this year, our journey in Peter Jackson's Middle-Earth comes to its conclusion - with The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Let's talk about it!

The question everyone is asking is whether or not this is a satisfying conclusion to The Hobbit Trilogy and, greater yet, Jackson's Middle-Earth reign. The answer is yes, it is! I loved this so much. It's a great, if flawed, film and wraps up everything so nicely.

I have to say, I wasn't too fond of the when the title was first changed from There and Back Again to Battle of the Five Armies. However, I now understand why it was done. After seeing this, you'll understand that it was a necessary change (even if it was a safe, dumbed down, idiot proof one) and the new subtitle is more fitting to the proceedings than There and Back Again. However, There and Back Again would make a good boxset title (like it was said it would be) so let's hope that's what happens.

Picking up - with one of the year's best opening scenes (no spoilers) - from where last year's Desolation of Smaug left, Battle of the Five Armies reunites us, for the last time, with Bilbo and the others as they are forced to engage in a callous war of monumental size against a slew of warriors and armies.

At the same time, though, they have to make sure that Smaug doesn't get his hands (claws, maybe) on a kingdom of treasure before laying wreak and waste to all of Middle-Earth. I'll just say one thing, though. MAKE SURE YOU SEE DESOLATION OF SMAUG AGAIN. There's no previously on The Hobbit section and we're just thrown straight into the action.

Basically, Jackson is condensing the mere few final pages of J.R Tolkien's short novel into a two and a half hour feature length film. Does it drag at times? Well, of course! There are MANY scenes in this that have no purpose which you feel like don't need to be there and only weigh the film down more.

Also, if you've read the book, you'll be disappointed. It's not like they add a little bit extra to this. They add SO MUCH and we have so many characters that didn't feature in the novel appearing and it just seems all the over the place at times and just feel like a burden to the proceedings. The script is a little baggy and uneven at times too, making some scenes weird.

I love Richard Armitage's Thorin in this. He is awesome! Their is veritable chemistry between his character and Martin Freeman's Bilbo Baggins and the two of them have some fun, tense scenes together. Their relationship is one of the highlights of this - so perfectly captured and portrayed.

As for everyone else, they're all great in their roles and give wonderfully solid and believable performances - that's no surprise, everyone is so comfortable in their roles now. Sir Ian McKellan was MAGNIFICENT as Gandalf, giving one of his best performances as the character yet.

To no one's surprise, the best thing about The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies was the actual battle of the five armies itself. It's action-packed, thrilling and just so enjoyable to watch unfold on the big screen! The visuals compliment it so nicely too, putting you front and center - in Middle-Earth - in all the action.

Jackson's effects are stunning and there are some breathtaking shots of this beautiful Middle-Eart that he brought to life in The Lord of the Rings and, now, The Hobbit films. It's emotional as we take our final look around at his beloved universe and characters.

It's not the best of any of Jackson's six films and it's certainly not the best from the three The Hobbit films but it's hard to not love this and no one can deny the fact that it's a good, of flawed, film and lovely, satisfying departure from the Middle-Earth we all grew up with and have adored since 2001.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is a fun, action-packed film and an emotionally beautiful conclusion to Peter Jackson's epic Middle-Earth.
★★★★☆

About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

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