The most eagerly awaited blockbuster of the year, hands down, has to be this, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Being the third, and final, installment in a series of films that has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions, is a an important position to hold, and certainly looks as though it will offer everything and more audiences are expecting. The final feature trailer has finally arrived, with a month until release, and scenes of battle and blistering effects dominate. The previous two have been journey movies, a bit like what we had with LOTR but with less action, and more family-friendly material. The first film, An Unexpected Journey offered up singing Dwarves and a naive, and untraveled Bilbo. The cinematography was as stunning as ever (everyone remembers the 48fps debate, but it certainly paid off) and being able to revisit Middle Earth, and some beloved characters was a treat all on its own. That’s almost all we needed in the first, and that’s pretty much all that we got (with some confusing plot-folds too, of course). The second, The Desolation of Smaug stepped up the game, bringing tense action (featuring Benedict Cumberbatch in his first performance capture role as the malevolent Smaug) and the pace literally picked up, as Thorin and company continued their trek to retrieve the Arkenstone.
For me, The Hobbit films have presented themselves as accessible material, for audiences that previously might not of been clued-up on the happenings of this fantasy world. The adventure theme has been wonderful through-out, the first two were joys to view at the cinema (the glorious effects can only fully be appreciated on the big screen), and Martin Freeman makes a wonderful Bilbo, as he strengthens and finds his feet away from his home, The Shire (a place we all wished we lived, right?). Desolation ended with the audience on tender-hooks I’m sure, with Smaug outwitting Thorin and co, and Lake-Town being his destination of wrath. Five Armies promises a return of Sauron and his terrifying Cockney (re-watch LOTR and you’ll know what I mean) Orcs and a battle of epic proportions, to not only take down Smaug, but for the Dwarves to take back their home. The Trailer featured Orlando Bloom’s Legolas and Evangeline Lilly’s Tauriel a-plenty, pulling some impressive skills against the hordes of mythical creatures coming to attack, as well as scenes of thousands of soldiers lined up, prepared to fight, which felt reminiscent of the best moments of The Two Towers.
The trailer opens with Bilbo reminding Thorin of a promise he made, and Luke Evans’ Bard the Bowman blaming him for the ruin brought upon his town. These moments bring the feeling of a poignant end for a series of films that have been in the hearts of viewers for over thirteen years. The final trailer was released sixteen hours ago, and has already received over two million views – which tells you everything you need to know. This series of films would have to do something extreme with the narrative, or characters, to alienate a legion of fans. And I’m almost certain it wont. December 17th sees it’s release in both 3D and IMAX, and you can watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVAgTiBrrDA