Battle-weary Hobbit fans reach epic finale

Dean O'Gorman as Fili and Aidan Turner as Kil. Phioto: PA Photo/Warner Bros

Dean O'Gorman as Fili and Aidan Turner as Kil. Phioto: PA Photo/Warner Bros

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Almost 13 years to the day since director Peter Jackson first transported us to Middle Earth, the Oscar-winning New Zealand filmmaker completes his tour of duty of JRR Tolkien’s novels.

It has been a long and sometimes gruelling slog since The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King.Giddy expectation has crashed and burned, with only a few smouldering embers for ardent fans to stoke in the hope that Jackson might redeem himself with this concluding chapter.

Alas, The Battle Of Five Armies The script occasionally deviates from Tolkien’s source text, contriving one superfluous and protracted interlude with elvish allies Elrond (Hugo Weaving) and Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) and wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee) to provide a flimsy bridge between the two series.

Jackson’s mastery of action sequences is beyond doubt. However, all that technical sound and fury without comparable emotional heft makes for increasingly wearisome viewing. As the end credits roll we feel a sense of relief rather than sadness.