What is now a stable addition to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films is the much welcomed Extended Edition, now out to own is the final film of Peter Jackson’s epic sage ‘The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies – Extended Edition’.
My personal favourite of the Hobbit films, Battle of the Five Armies concludes the trilogy with Thorin suffering from dragon sickness as he reclaims the throne and is hell bent of finding the Arkenstone.
As the residents of Lake Town descend on The Mountain in the wake of their town begin decimated by Smaug the Dragon, and the Elves of Mirkwood seek to reclaim their precious jewels from The King Under the Mountain, it is down to Bilbo to try and bargain a peaceful resolution between Dwarfs, Man and Elves before Azog the Defiler makes his final move to kill Thorin and his company and claim the mountain for his master.
The film boasts some highly impressive scenes, like the burning of Lake Town which is beautifully crafted, and the fight at Dongeldor which gives us a strong flavour of The Lord of the Rings and our last look at the wonderfully compelling Sir Christopher Lee. But as always with Peter Jackson there is subtlety amongst the masterful visuals he gives us and which is aided by some graceful performances between Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage.
The extended edition has over twenty minutes of new footage not seen in the theatrical cut and this is mostly in the third act and the battle itself. Which basically means more dwarfs fighting elves, elves fighting dwarfs, and more dwarfs fighting elves and men fighting orcs… what more can you ask for!
This extended edition also brings the last parts of the Appendices, which has brought us the most extensive look into the making of a motion picture saga. They’ve shown us the truly hard work that has gone into bringing Middle Earth to the big screen and that it’s not always been smooth sailing. There’s a fascinating section that tells us the problems Peter faced while making The Hobbit.
It is a bitter sweet release as it does mark the end of our time in Middle Earth with Bilbo, Gandalf and the ring of power. But now it’s yours to own so you can go back there more than one last time.