My wife and I finally caught up with the last of the Hobbit trilogy as expanded and filmed by Peter Jackson. Having read the book, I thought I might have some idea of how things were going to turn out, and there were few surprises on that score.
We went back to view installment one last weekend and number two Tuesday night. After watching The Battle of the Five Armies, I have a few observations:
I think the book is better as two films rather than three. Hobbit 3 seems to have a lot of padding that perhaps “might” have happened in the “adult” version of a kid’s story. But I think the Jackson braintrust overthought the battle a bit too much. If Erebor was so worth fighting for, why didn’t the orcs drain the treasure away from Smaug from underneath like they entered the battle? Why the bother to prevent a hopeless quest by desperate dwarves?
I seem to recall in the book that Bilbo via the thrush communicated the dragon’s weak spot to Bard. They missed that, I think.
The Scottish accents of the dwarves, when they were using them, were really annoying.
The elf subplots were somewhat interesting. I think I liked them. But there was a lot of time spent in battle, so I’m not sure.
In Tolkien mythology, the two of the Three Rings belong to Galadriel and Elrond, and Gandalf borrows the third from time to time. The battle at Dol Guldur didn’t really impress me.
Even my wife immediately noted the similarity between the earth eaters and the worms of Dune.
My sense is that Tolkien’s Middle Earth stories are rich and complex enough for years of presentation in the mini-series format. I’d like to think some intrepid filmmaker will attempt that in the remake of these. I think there’s room for improvement on how they were filmed, especially the third and the first of the Hobbit films.