Peter Jackson’s second Middle Earth trilogy will comes to an explosive close this December when The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies finishes an extensive adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s adventure, while also tying in with the Lord of the Rings films. So far, the marketing campaign has been pretty quiet, but that all changed today when the first trailer dropped.
The mood is certainly not as playful or triumphant as the other Hobbit trailers have indicated, which means one can expect a lot of intense violence (although likely little bloodshed, so that there is a more family-friendly PG-13 rating). While the trailer is stirring and does emphasize the prelude to an enormous, climactic action sequence, it also continues with a trait that Tolkien fans have criticized with Jackson’s Hobbit films: too much CGI and not enough practical effects. For a film that has been so long out of production, some of the digital effects look a bit too clean and computerized for this writer.
In this final chapter, which will hopefully fall short of the two-and-a-half hour running time – although, let’s face it, this is a Peter Jackson film – Bilbo, Thorin and the dwarves try to defend themselves against the fiery power of Smaug, who has unleashed fire against the Lake-town inhabitants. Meanwhile, if things were not rough enough for our furry-eared friends, Sauron is around to send legions of orcs to the Lonely Mountain.
It will be fascinating to see how Jackson ties in the concluding chapter of this adaptation with Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings adventures. Since The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies only has about one quarter of Tolkien’s original book (around 60 pages or so) to translate to the screen, we can only hope that we will not be treated to many fade-to-black endings in the vein of 2003’s Return of the King.
Watch the magnificent trailer below and start counting the days until December 17, 2014: