The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Trailer Review)

After making an appearance at San Diego Comic-Con over the weekend the rest of us did not have to wait long for our first real look at the final installment in Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy. The Battle of the Five Armies picks up right where The Desolation of Smaug left off, with our company of dwarves and their "burglar" having reached their treasure but having a fire-breathing dragon to contend with. 

The whimsy and pleasantries that were all too evident in An Unexpected Journey have been replaced with a heavy grim spirit that runs throughout the trailer. While a hopelessness was certainly evident in J.R.R. Tolkien's book, this takes on an epic scale and scope that feels like The Lord of the Ring: The Return of the King, and yet, shot after shot in this trailers suffers from the computer-generated fakery that permeated the previous two Hobbit films. Of course, why would this one be any different? Another callback to The Return of the King is the song choice for this trailer. Fans will recall "The Edge of Night," which Pippin sang in that film during one of the film's most dire moments.

Familiar faces from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings alike are back for what may very well be Peter Jackson's last outing in Middle Earth (but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he manages to bring us another one). Lady Galadriel (Cate Blanchette) apparently will show up in one of the film's myriad side plots. We got a bunny-sled chase in the first Hobbit film, a barrel riding sequence in the second and it looks like a wagon on ice set-piece this time around... It's clear that Jackson and his writers have thought of has many ways possible to give us a final lengthy installment in this franchise. 

The Hobbit is my favorite book and I enjoyed the first two films enough. I am eager to see this titular war, but hope to find myself more satisfied than exhausted by the end of it. There's lots to pick apart and examine in this first trailer for The Battle of the Five Armies. What else did you notice? Are you excited for this conclusion? Let your voice be heard in the comments below.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies hits US theaters on December 17th.