My son and I viewed the 3D version of the final Hobbit installment “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.” The film offers a spectacle of special effects and amazing artistic skill. The acting has remained consistently good throughout the Hobbit series. However, as others have stated before me, it’s really not about the Hobbit. He’s more of an ornament for other characters to act around. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Martin Freeman in the role. He nearly achieves several Shakespearean moments; nevertheless, he’s clearly not the central character in view here. With the Macbeth-like Thorin glowering over gold, the evil menace of the Orc Lord, and the love triangle between two elves and a dwarf poor Bilbo Baggins simply loses importance except as a supporting character.
I suppose that had I never read the book, much less a dozen times, I might not worry about this slight. That being said, I truly love the Bilbo of the books and care very little of the Bilbo in this film. The rich cultures, languages, customs, and peccadilloes of Elves, Hobbits, Dwarfs, humans, etc. fell from view in the rush to create an immense war landscape a la Tolstoy but without the empathy and grace from either great writer–Tolstoy or Tolkien.
My son and I enjoyed the film together. We laughed and cheered; however, this series will not likely show up in my DVD collection.