The final “Hobbit” movie is sure to impress

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“The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies” premiered in theaters on December 17th, 2014.

Roxanne Panas, Staff Writer

The epic conclusion is finally here. The third and final installment of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit arrived in theaters Wednesday, December 17, and it was well worth the wait. Whether you’re looking for any great action film to see over winter break or you’re a die-hard Lord of the Rings junkie, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is sure to impress.

The movie begins with a view of a dark village on a lake, seemingly in panic. Mothers are yelling to children, people are scrambling to pack belongings, and men are looking to the sky to judge how much time their families have to escape the town that is undoubtedly going to burn. The great dragon Smaug, voiced brilliantly by Benedict Cumberbatch, menacingly flies over the small town before descending in a fiery rage.

Bard, a poor inhabitant of the town who was arrested in the previous movie for helping the dwarves, makes an attempt to save the townspeople and his children. After an intense but short battle with the dragon, the movie shifts into its main focus: the Company of Thorin Oakenshield.

Back in the dragon’s treasure hoard, the dwarves are reunited after being separated in the last installment. Bilbo Baggins, the protagonist, informs the dwarves that have been away that Thorin, their leader, has been acting strange. The dwarves quickly decipher that the cause of Thorin’s illness is the infamous Arkenstone, which was initially the entire reason the dwarves and Bilbo set out on their quest to slay Smaug. Bilbo quickly remembers that he had found and picked up the Arkenstone during his first encounter with Smaug, but Bilbo keeps it with him instead of giving it to Thorin in fear of how the power would affect him. This causes Thorin to become bitter and unwilling to reason.

Meanwhile, the men of the village that Smaug had attacked, led by Bard, venture to the mountain to request a share of the treasure to rebuild their town. The Elves also arrive at the mountain, demanding a share of the treasure as well. Thorin quickly refuses and this causes war to break out.

The main plot of the movie develops around the greed of the different races fighting for their rightful share of the dragon’s treasure. Soon, the Dwarf armies join the battle and the Orcs mobilize too. The action is intense and amazingly suspenseful, especially when Thorin and Company decide to join the party. Bilbo is not forgotten either; he has a crucial part to play in the battle as well. Gandalf is present as an advisor to help the conflict resolve itself. Goblins briefly show themselves, but they are not very important to the plot. After the incredible battle is finally over, each side has suffered losses but they part in alliance. The movie ends after Bilbo goes home to the Shire.

The movie version of The Hobbit sways a bit from the original novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, but it overall does an outstanding job of capturing the essence of the story. The constant theme of morality versus power paints a beautiful picture, whether you’re a fan of the Lord of the Rings series or not.

What I enjoyed most about the movie was its attention to detail. The computer generated imaging was absolutely gorgeous and the uniformity was unbelievable. The costuming and make up was amazingly perfect every time, right down to the braids in Legolas’ hair. Each of the dwarves in Thorin’s group was wonderfully memorable. As far as acting goes, each of the actors was phenomenal. Martin Freeman gave an unquestionably stunning performance as Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit himself. Fighting scenes, which probably occupied over half the movie, were epic and beautifully choreographed.

As with any sequel or continuation, some background information is required before seeing the movie. The other movies provide flawless transitions into the last installment. Along with intensity and brutality, the movie showcases some particularly beautiful emotional moments that had me tearing up. Add in a few comical one-liners here and there and you’ve got yourself an amazing conclusion to the trilogy. I walked into the movie theater already expecting a fantastic film, but I came out of the theater with my mind blown. The movie has something for everyone, seamlessly combining action, romance, emotion, and humor, so I would say The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is definitely worth seeing.