Extra Cinema: The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies (12A)

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins
Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins

Starring: Martin Freeman

Director: Peter Jackson

Almost 13 years to the day since director Peter Jackson first transported us to Middle Earth, the Oscar-winning New Zealand filmmaker completes his tour of duty of JRR Tolkien’s novels.

Alas, The Battle Of Five Armies bids farewell to the hobbits, dwarfs and elves with a whimper rather than a bang.

The script occasionally deviates from Tolkien’s source text,to provide a flimsy bridge between the two series.

Jackson’s mastery of action sequences is beyond doubt - the two set pieces, which bookend this film, are executed with flair.

As the fate of Middle Earth hangs in the balance, Thorin sacrifices everything in his selfish pursuit of the symbol of his people, the Arkenstone.

The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies follows a similar template to earlier pictures, resolving plot strands .

Freeman’s performance provides a flimsy emotional fulcrum while co-stars battle with their characters’ demons or hordes of bloodthirsty orcs.

As the end credits roll, we feel a sense of relief rather than sadness.

Rating: 6/10