The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is a 2014 epic fantasy adventure film, directed by Peter Jackson and written by Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Guillermo del Toro. It is the third and final installment in the three-part film adaptation based on the novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, following An Unexpected Journey (2012) and The Desolation of Smaug (2013), and together they act as a prequel to Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. It stars Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Stott and James Nesbitt. It also features Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving and Orlando Bloom.
- The movie starts off where the last movie ends off; Bilbo and the Dwarves watch from the Lonely Mountain as the dragon Smaug attacks Laketown. Bard the Bowman manages to break out of prison, fights Smaug, and eventually kills him with the black arrow given to him by his son Bain. With the death of the Master of Laketown, Bard becomes the new leader of the Laketown people as they seek refuge in the ruins of Dale, while Legolas travels to investigate Mount Gundabad with Tauriel. Thorin, now struck with “dragon sickness”, searches obsessively for the Arkenstone, which was stolen by Bilbo, during his encounter with Smaug. Bilbo learns from Balin that it would be best if the Arkenstone remains hidden from Thorin, who orders the entrance of the Lonely Mountain to be sealed off.
- Galadriel, Elrond and Saruman arrive at Dol Guldur and free Gandalf, sending him to safety with Radagast. After battling and defeating the Nazgûl, Sauron himself confronts the group, but Galadriel uses the Light of Eärendil and banishes Sauron and the Ringwraiths to the East. Azog, marching on Erebor with his vast Orc army, sends Bolg to Gundabad to summon their second army. Legolas and Tauriel witness the march of Bolg’s army, bolstered by Goblins and giant bats. At Dale Thranduil arrives with an elf army, supplies and aid, and forms an alliance with Bard, wishing to claim an elven necklace of white gems from the Mountain. Bard attempts to negotiate and reason with Thorin to avoid war, but the dwarf refuses to cooperate. After Gandalf arrives at Dale to warn Bard and Thranduil of the Orc army who will take Erebor as part of a campaign to revive the kingdom of Angmar, Bilbo sneaks out of Erebor to hand the Arkenstone over to Thranduil and Bard. When Bard and Thranduil’s armies gather at the gates of Erebor, offering to trade the Arkenstone for Thranduil’s gems and Laketown’s share of the gold, Thorin is shocked to learn of the Arkenstone in the Elves’ hands and he nearly kills Bilbo in a furious rage.
- After Gandalf forces Thorin to release Bilbo, the arrival of Thorin’s cousin Dáin with his Dwarf army worsens matters. A battle of Dwarves against Elves and Men is imminent, when Wereworms emerge from the ground releasing Azog’s army from their tunnels. With the Orcs outnumbering Dain’s army, Thranduil and Bard’s forces, along with Gandalf and Bilbo, join the battle as some of the Orcs attack Dale. Inside Erebor, initially refusing to fight, Thorin suffers a hallucination before regaining his sanity and leading his company into battle. While the other dwarves of the company aid Dain’s forces, Thorin rides towards Ravenhill with Dwalin, Fili and Kili to kill Azog and force the Orc army to retreat. Meanwhile, after being banished by Thranduil, despite her and Legolas warning him of Bolg’s army, Tauriel leaves with Legolas to warn the dwarves of Bolg’s approaching army, with Bilbo following them using the One Ring.
- Thorin sends Fíli and Kíli to scout, not knowing they are about to be overrun by a second army of Gundabad Orcs. Bilbo and the elves arrive too late as Fíli is captured by the Orcs and is executed by Azog. Kíli, who is hiding underneath the cliff, sees his brother’s body dropping down and battles Orcs in a rage. Thorin battles Azog to avenge Fili’s death, Bolg knocks Bilbo unconscious, overpowers Tauriel and then kills Kili who had come to her aid. After Legolas kills Bolg, the Great Eagles arrive with Radagast and Beorn, and the Orc armies are finally destroyed. As Bilbo regains consciousness he finds a dying Thorin, having killed Azog, and makes peace with him before the latter dies. On Thranduil’s suggestion, Legolas leaves to meet with a young Dunedain ranger going by the name Strider. As Tauriel mourns Kili, Thranduil tells her that her love for Kili was real. Grieved by the deaths of Thorin, Fili, and Kili, the people of Laketown, the elves, and the dwarves bury them inside the tombs of Erebor.
- As a result, Thorin’s cousin Dain is crowned King Under the Mountain, the citizens of Laketown are given the riches promised to them by Thorin, and Dain restores to the elves the white elven gems that King Thror had stolen from them years ago. Following these events, Bilbo bids farewell to the remaining members of Thorin’s company and journeys home to the Shire with Gandalf. As the two part on the outskirts of the Shire, Gandalf admits his knowledge of Bilbo’s ring and cautions him against using it. Bilbo returns to Bag End to find his belongings being auctioned off by relatives’ family because he was presumed dead. He aborts the sale and tells the other hobbits to leave but finds his home has been almost totally pillaged. Sixty years later, Bilbo receives a visit from Gandalf and runs out to greet him, thus setting in motion the events of The Fellowship of the Ring.
A visual treat with some amazing large scale fight scenes but it is less interesting and entertaining than the previous two movies. The movie grossed a worldwide total of $955.1 million. 8.5 outta 10!