The Hobbit: The Battle of the Three Opinions?

Warning: This article may contain spoilers.

This is more than a review of a motion picture. This is, in fact, three reviews.

the-hobbit-unexpected-journey-wallpaperWhy three,you ask as your fiddle with something very secret in the pocket of your waistcoat? Don’t leave. I will tell you.

Before a month was over I managed to see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies three times. Once, the night after the public debut while vacationing in California. Once, with my husband when I returned, and once, with my two teenage grandsons as a birthday present. One motion picture, three different experiences and hence, I present to you three different reviews.

I think many people were disappointed in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. That was the consensus of the party I was with for the first viewing. Of course we had fun. Of course we were entertained, (though the seats in the theater were the most uncomfortable seats I’ve ever sat in but we won’t go there). This movie was supposed to be the grand finale not only of the Hobbit, but the final installment of The Lord of the Rings Saga. Tolkien zealots insist the story did not follow the book. But then, the Faithful ones insist none of Peter Jackson’s movies followed the books. I read the books. I say “eh” with a shrug of the shoulder. They did in a way. Jackson added. He subtracted, but of all the things he didn’t do that we can list on a scroll that covers the shiny wax floor of a hobbit house, he DID do one very special thing. He gave us Bilbo.

In both the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, Bilbo’s character stayed true to himself, and for that I give both of my thumbs up. What else matters?  Except that perhaps we didn’t get enough of Bilbo in this last movie.  Martin Freeman was just so…so Bilbo!

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF FIVE ARMIESSo as you can guess the first audience were Hobbit experts and they were somewhat disappointed.

hobbit3trailer2-200x200The second audience was myself and my husband who had also read the books several times, and who was also somewhat disappointed. My opinion by this time? Well, I didn’t mind the female elf like many people had complained about. I thought she was lovely and had wished Tolkien had invented her. What really bothered me was the constant warfare. Less story more fighting. Too much fighting. I suppose that’s what you should expect when you have five armies battling. It’s not like I wasn’t told. I mean, the title says it right there in big black letters. Battle of the Five Armies. Why should I be surprised?

So when my grandsons called up and asked me to please take them to the show…

…like in an hour because they’re busy tomorrow and today is Dave’s birthday and they really want to spend time with grandma and like yes we’ll be ready in time…

If I had thought long and hard about jumping in the car and driving 20 miles to accommodate them  I would have said…”eh, how about if I just drop you off?”

But I didn’t have enough time to think. I barely had enough time to find my keys.

And I’m glad, because I discovered that either Peter Jackson knew who this movie was geared for, or else he was just living his second childhood when he directed it. Those boys were on the edge of their seats the entire two hours. They caught every blade slashing, every flip, every jump, every strategic maneuver in every battle. They loved it. In fact, I caught their energy and I can honestly say that after the third time seeing The Hobbit: the Battle of the Five Armies, I enjoyed it too. It was fun.

And Bilbo was awesome!

I also was very impressed with Thranduil’s mount!



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  1. Enjoyed the post, Dianne, and I think I experienced all three of those opinions simultaneously.
    The film had serious shortcomings as drama. It seemed like Jackson was desperately trying to out-do the Battle of Helm’s Deep at the expense of story. Cate Blanchett was brought back with nothing to do. Thorin was unconvincing. The comic relief was awful. Important plot strands were left hanging (presumably to be resolved in the extended DVD/Blu-ray). And while I didn’t object to the new elf Tauriel (like you, I found her quite appealing), I did think it a shame that having invented her, the screenwriters gave her some very weak dialogue about how painful love is, which could have come from a weak episode of Star Trek.
    But I saw it with my sons (14 and 12) and like your grandsons, they loved it. They found the plot holes too, but they were totally wrapped up in the emotion and the action. I was less into the emotion, but there was no denying the action was very impressive, and watching the kids enjoy it made me less judgmental than I would have been.

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