So I was fortunate enough to get into one of the very first screenings of the new Hobbit movie and brought my buddy and fellow die hard Middle Earth fanatic Josh along for his birthday.
I have read the books and I have loved the movies. I knew this third and final installment was going to be pretty much all action as that's how the last third of the book is.
Just in case you haven't read the books here is a brief synopsis of this installment:
"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world. Enraged, Smaug rains his fiery wrath down upon the defenseless men, women and children of Lake-town.
As darkness converges on their escalating conflict, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must
Where to start, how about with Gandalf and the battle of Dol Guldar. Last we saw Gandalf he was defeated and caged. The White Council removing Sauron from Dol Guldar is not directly in the book and is only mentioned in hindsight. So I was really looking forward to seeing how this fight was portrayed.. and I have to say it did not disappoint. Lady Galadriel, Elrond and Saurman battling the Nazgul and Sauron was EPIC!!!! My only complaint is that it was to short.. I could have watched another 20 minutes of it.
The burning of Lake Town and the death of Smaug was AMAZING. The scene with Bard and his son on top of the bell tower was gripping. Watching Smaug fly up one last time, then seeing the light in his eyes go out and then crash to the ground was breath taking.. and the best part which isn't in the book is Smaug falling on top of the Master of Laketown killing him.
The standoff between Dwarfs, Elves and Man was tense and very funny at times. I enjoyed Biblo's role in this film. He's not a key player in this fight but he does have a key role.
The battle of the five armies is very well done. First with huge epic battles of orcs, elves and dwarves and then smaller battles with man. Until the end when they become one on one battles with the key characters. The main battle rages on but we are not privy to that. Instead we get these tense private battles that you have been waiting for the entire trilogy.
I have to say that I'm surprised that they only killed off those that are killed in the book. I was certain that Tauriel was going to get killed since she was a completely made up character just for the movies. But instead she survived to morn the loss of her beloved Kili.. and those scenes are pretty heart wrenching.
The ending was much shorter then the book but it was fun and exactly the same as the book with the very end tying everything back to the beginning of Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring when Gandalf arrives at Bilbo's house.
Overall the three Hobbit movies are pretty amazing but if I had to choose I'd still chose the three Lord of the Rings movies to be more superior but that's because the Lord of the Rings story (in my opinion) is a better story. I can't wait to spend a weekend watching all six of these movies back to back to back to back to back to back.