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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Action Jackson
by Richard Jack Smith

After reading J.R.R. Tolkienís The Hobbit five times and enjoying the first film on several occasions, the conclusion has finally arrived. Am I happy or miserable?

Despite its faults, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is a treat! Director Peter Jackson experienced some down time on The Desolation of Smaug, yet with this final installment heís back on form.

Ultimately, discussing the plot runs the risk of spoilers. Therefore, I will analyse the key themes. Matters of friendship, disorientation, warfare and honour allow Jackson to root this plot in strong dramatic soil. He calls upon every ounce of creative inspiration for the filmís major talking point: an extended battle between orcs, elves and dwarves.

Brilliantly assembled by editor Jabez Olssen, thereís some tremendous variety to each skirmish. For example, the sight of Legolas (Orlando Bloom) climbing a falling structure proves instantly gratifying. Crucially, Jackson guides his editor through the footage in such a way that repetition never becomes an issue.

Meanwhile, the bond between Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) reasserts itself following the shaky demeanour of their last outing.

Although The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies overstays its welcome, the story and characters remain indelible.

(Released by Warner Bros. and rated "PG-13" for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images.)

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