Warning: This article may contain spoilers.
This is more than a review of a motion picture. This is, in fact, three reviews.
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 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!