The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies Extended Edition
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Hobbit, The: Battle of the Five Armies (Extended Edition) (Blu-ray)
Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson returns to Middle-earth with the final of three films based on J.R.R. Tolkien's enduring masterpiece. Set in Middle-earth 60 years before the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy, the adventure follows the journey of Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of dwarves on a journey into wild, treacherous lands swarming with beasts of every ilk. After reaching Erebor and encountering the dragon Smaug, Five Armies assemble for an epic battle that could decide the future of all in Middle-earth. The Extended Edition film is 20 minutes longer with new and extended scenes not seen in the theatrical release.]]>
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The Battle of the Five Armies again takes a lot of liberty in the adaptation of the book to the screen. Which - once again - might upset the story purists but that has been done well. The story-line wraps up nicely and by the end of the 2 hours and 43 minutes you can roll right on through watching all the Lord of the Rings movies.
But, there is also a little bit of the problem that I had with this movie. There clearly has been the idea with the studios to outdo the Lord of the Ring in scale. Which makes no real sense. The Lord of the Rings is the build-up to where the world goes to war. But somehow, the war that we get in The Battle of the Five Armies features armies that look larger than even the battle at Gondor, and they dwarf the armies of the Orcs and the Uruks for Helm's Deep in The Two Towers.
And it does look awesome once again, but because of this, I would advise for a week or so between to sit-throughs of both trilogy; simply not to compare them to each other in too much detail.
Just like the book, this final part of the trilogy is far less a fantasy movie but rather a war movie. It is a great movie, but - just like the book (again) - it feels a bit like an sequel-story building upon the fantasy story that covers the first two movies. I think Peter Jackson did very well to have ended the 'Desolation of Smaug' where it did, and bring the rest of that part of the book to this last movie to not make it a huge difference in movie styles.
The acting is great again, the action sequences are beautifully filmed, and there is again a lot of stunning scenery to be enjoyed. The extra 20 minutes exists mainly of a lot of extra - fantastic - gorey shots during the war. You want to know the 10 best ways to kill an Orc? Well, this is the movie for you.
Enjoy this one as the conclusion of The Hobbit trilogy.