I wasn’t convinced when they first announced that The Hobbit would be a trilogy – I thought that the size of the book warranted two films at most. Then I saw the hugely impressive showdown with the dragon at the end of the second film “The Desolation of Smaug” and appreciated what could be achieved with the extra time.
The extra time also buys us this experience. This film is basically a two hour battle – men and dwarves and elves and orcs and eagles in one massive military set-piece that never flags or lets up. It’s been a long time since I read the book but I don’t remember it being like this.
I went to see the “full fat” version of the film – the IMAX 3D 48 frames per second HFR version. In my reviews of the previous films I commented on the visual effect of the 48 frames per second. It ruined the first film for me and worked better in the second film. I’m still not completely sold on the effect, and it stands out here on occasion, but I largely forgot about it this time round. Having said that, there is a real feeling of being close to the action.
This is a worthy end to the trilogy and – along with the Lord of the Rings trilogy – a spectacular achievement for Peter Jackson, the director. Those of us who have seen all the films as they have been released have been on a cinematic journey, one that has taken us (in the words of the original title for this film) “There and Back Again”.