The first “Hobbit” film was mediocre. The second was a slight improvement.
However, director Peter Jackson finally has wrapped up this trilogy in grand, thrilling, rousing, spectacular fashion with “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” which will satisfy fans and pays more than a wink at his “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
It all begins with the deadly dragon Smaug terrorizing the village known as Lake-Town while Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and the rest of his dwarf companions do everything they can to save themselves and the town.
Following an intense battle sequence, Bilbo and company once again reunite with the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), and together they save the kingdom Erebor from invading forces.
This also brings back Legolas the Elf (Orlando Bloom) and his sidekick, Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly). We also get some LoTR alumni taking place in the battle including Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee and Cate Blanchett.
As someone who was completely puzzled as to why Jackson made the conscious decision to stretch a simple story into three parts, I still wasn’t sure of the names of all the characters. And because of some of the silliness of the previous two films, it still had no real emotional resonance.
However, the third film lets the spectacle do the talking, and the screen vibrates with breathtaking imagery.
The “Hobbit” series won’t go down in history like its predecessor, but it does send off its characters in an epic and satisfying conclusion. Jackson has pretty much conquered all of Middle-Earth on screen. Now, let’s hope he can find another world for his fantastical visions.
Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy-action violence, and frightening images.
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.