Anyways, as for this final chapter in the unnecessarily long hobbit trilogy, I guess I look at it like this – from the perspective of one last adventure with these rich characters and simply seeing how it all unfolds on screen, I enjoyed the movie for the most part. The same ones that I’d grown fond of in the previous episodes – Bilbo (obviously), Thorin, Balin, and I’d even built more of a liking for Kili and Young Legolas in this finale … it was fun to see those characters up on the screen one last time.
That said, I think that by far the biggest detractor for me with this movie, as well as frankly the trilogy as a whole, as just how much off base from the books the entire series featured. I mean, I didn’t even have to go back and re-read the book to know that Sauron was barely mentioned in The Hobbit, yet Peter Jackson seemed to go to great lengths to tie this series back to the original Lord of the Rings, which honestly kind of hurt it a bit in my book because it seemed like maybe otherwise he thought that the story couldn’t hold its own without.
Which of course is just silly, but I suppose when millions of dollars and franchising and merchandise are to be considered, maybe the story isn’t always at the top of everyone’s list … which is sad.
As cool as it was to see Elrond brandish a sword, I didn’t think the battle of the White Council vs. the Nazgul fit with this movie any more than darkness brewing fit in either of the other chapters.
There were a lot of little things – Bard having his son help him slay Smaug, Azog coming up through the ice, the whole romance between Tauriel and Kili … here I wasn’t super crazy about stretching a 300-page book into a movie trilogy, but it makes you wonder if The Hobbit could’ve been a really great one or even two-part story had all of this new material to bridge the two series not been crammed into the story in the first place.
Ultimately, my big question when I walked into An Unexpected Journey two years ago was whether at the end of it all The Hobbit would stand in the same epic sense that the Lord of the Rings does as a truly amazing series of movies that is kind of iconic of its time.
And sadly, I don’t think it does.
Maybe it’s the same problem that the Star Wars prequels ran into when your predecessors are so great that there’s simply nowhere to go but down at that point – I don’t know.
At the end of the day, I can still see myself watching these three movies again from time to time when they come on TV, but whether I’ll anxiously look forward to a movie marathon of the trilogy each and every Thanksgiving for years to come?! Not likely. 🙁