Peter Jackson has spent some time in Middle-earth, producing six movies and oceans of profit, and fostering more childhoods than he could have anticipated. The Fellowship of the Ring hit theaters in 2001, thirteen years ago. Feel old yet? If you don’t, that’s because you’re too young, and you missed The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Ah, let me tell you, that was a good time to be nine. Movies and books and culture in general harbor a magnificent capacity to influence young folk, and thinking back, I don’t know if any movie changed me quite the same way The Lord of the Rings did. It’s a funny thing, to think that a decade later, a whole new generation of children not unlike me went through a similar process with The Hobbit trilogy. It introduced them to fantasy, changed the way they saw the world, igniting the sparks of imagination.
I pity those children.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
The Plot: After finally completing the natural climax of the previous film, Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and company (twelve other actors) at last reclaim their homeland of Erebor and the riches therein. Under pressure from the men of the recently destroyed Laketown, led by Bard (Luke Evans), and the elves of Mirkwood, led by King Thranduil (Lee Pace), Thorin must confront whether he values his own prosperity or honor more. This conundrum is interrupted when a massive army of orcs, led by the villainous-and-superfluous Azog (Manu Bennett), shows up at his doorstep. Urged on by his followers, and his recently shirked friends Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Thorin must lead the defense of his homeland, before it slips from his fingers once more. There’s a lot of leading in this movies, apparently. Continue reading