The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Poster

Immediately after the events of The Desolation of Smaug, Bilbo and the dwarves try to defend Erebor's mountain of treasure from others who claim it: the men of the ruined Laketown and the elves of Mirkwood. Meanwhile an army of Orcs led by Azog the Defiler is marching on Erebor, fueled by the rise of the dark lord Sauron. Dwarves, elves and men must unite, and the hope for Middle-Earth falls into Bilbo's hands.

Film Summary
"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" (2014) is the third installation in Peter Jackson's dream adventure series, based on the 1937 unique "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien. This final chapter concentrates on the legendary conflict of the 5 armies, triggered by the majestic treasure recovered from the controling dragon, Smaug. The film, embeded in Middle Earth, integrates adventure, mythical beings and warfare, establishing a treacherous journey for the lead character hobbit Bilbo Baggins, depicted by Martin Freeman.

The Story Picks Up
As the movie starts, the fire-breathing dragon Smaug, woken up by Bilbo and the band of dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), wrecks havoc on Laketown. After the town's damage, Smaug is beat by Bard (Luke Evans), a resident of Laketown, who uses an apparently enchanted arrow to strike him down. With Smaug gotten rid of, the dwarves recover the Lonely Mountain, and Thorin ends up being increasingly obsessed with the treasure, particularly the Arkenstone, the 'Heart of the Mountain.'

Building Tensions
Thorin's fixation starts driving a wedge in between him and his devoted followers, including Bilbo. He also refuses to honor his contract of sharing the treasure with the Woodland Elves and the human survivors of Laketown, which strains their shared relationship. On the other hand, Bilbo secretly discovers the Arkenstone and conceals it, fearing Thorin's growing instability. Gandalf (Ian McKellen), after escaping the prison of the necromancer Sauron, alerts everyone about the imminent attack of Orc armies.

The Battle of Five Armies
The escalating stress culminate in the magnificence battle involving 5 armies - the Dwarves, Elves, Men, Orcs, and Eagles, all fighting for their survival and control over the reclaimed treasure. The fight sequences are marked by extreme action and spectacular visuals. Throughout the fight, Thorin fights and eliminates the Orc leader Azog, however not without sustaining deadly wounds, which ultimately cause his death.

Conclusion and Departure
Thorin's death marks the consequences of the fight. He says sorry to Bilbo for his greed-driven actions before he dies, reconciling their strained relationship. In spite of the invitation to stay, Bilbo decides to return to the Shire, bidding farewell to his buddies. Gandalf, currently knowledgeable about Bilbo's ownership of the One Ring, warns him about its potential risks. The film ends with Bilbo returning to his serene hobbit life, marking an end to his daring journey.

Critical Reception
"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" was popular, with unique appreciation for its amazing visuals, Ian McKellen's fascinating performance, and the extreme action sequences, although it likewise dealt with criticism for its deviation from the source material. Produced by Warner Bros and New Line Cinema, the film brought a fitting end to the adventure-laden trilogy, including one more notable chapter to Peter Jackson's treatment of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth saga.

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