With every trilogy comes an end, and “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” is truly an epic end to what has been an unexpected journey. Directed by Peter Jackson (who just recently received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame), this film presents a mix of humour, action and emotions that will leave you reeling.

As the finale of The Hobbit series, the key characters of the film have already been introduced. This allows Jackson to dive straight into the thick of the action and get the story running from the get-go. The film cuts to the chase with Smaug’s death and moves directly to the fight for the mountain, which brings the five said armies together on their quest for domination.

Except this time, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) takes a backseat, with the main focus turning to Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), Bard (Luke Evans) and Thranduil (Lee Pace). The riches of the mountain tempts the vulnerable Thorin, while Bard and Thranduil attempt to settle their scores amicably. As the film progresses, the characters’ thirst for wealth turns generosity into greed as respect is thrown into the gutter and war becomes the only solution to resolve the conflict.

Promising a 45 minute-long battle sequence, the highlight of the film is, naturally, the much-anticipated fights. Jackson delivers in true Middle-Earth style, giving you a bird’s eye view of the ensuing war. With such a long fight scene, he cleverly inserts humour in the battles through ironic scenes that will ease the arduous tension. For someone who could turn a simple book into three films (each lasting more than 2 hours), Jackson is, of course, a natural at dramatising every bit of action whenever he can.

Jackson paces the plot in a way that is comfortable yet unsettling, just to keep you curious enough to see how things turn out. Furthermore, in the High Frame Rate, the scale of the action takes precedence over the story, and brings the fantasy elements of Middle Earth onto the big screen.

The film takes us all the way through and provides proper closure to the story, making absolutely sure we know the end is nigh. For a movie heavy with the scent of death, it is surprisingly filled with warmth and even finishes with a touch of positivity. Even with 2 films preceding it, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” is easy to watch and its backstory is relatively simple to catch up with when viewed as a standalone film. This trait makes it unique as not all sequels are able to work without requiring a backstory.

This film was reviewed in the 3D format in High Frame Rate (HFR)

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens 18 December in Digital, HFR 3D, IMAX 3D and IMAX HFR 3D.

Directed by: Peter Jackson
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy
Running time: 144 minutes
Rating: 3.5/5