The last of three epic instalments in director Peter Jackson's prequel to ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. Set in Middle-Earth 60 years before events in ‘The Lord of the Rings’, the story follows the adventures of Hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who, at the instigation of the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), suddenly finds himself co-opted into joining a company of 13 Dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) to help reclaim the lost kingdom of the Lonely Mountain from the clutches of Smaug the dragon (voice of Benedict Cumberbatch). In this film, Bilbo, Thorin and the other Dwarves have unintentionally released Smaug from the Lonely Mountain and endangered the residents of Lake-town.
Bilbo has to make a difficult decision when Thorin puts his desire to find the royal jewel Arkenstone before his loyalty to his friends. Meanwhile, Gandalf discovers that the evil Sauron has returned, commanding a horde of Orcs to attack the Lonely Mountain. Bilbo and his friends must fight for their survival as five armies meet in battle.
The rest of the cast includes Luke Evans, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly and Christopher Lee.
****Critic Reviews for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies***
- " Untold manpower, pixels, and money culminate in the gangbusters final installment. It can't redeem the useless tedium of the first two, which exist for gargantuan profits and structural necessity. " – Wesley Morris , Grantland
- “It's a big, bold, schizophrenic pageant that still manages to work on a surprising number of levels – creative liberties and indulgences be damned.” – John Wenzel , Denver Post