It's hard for me to give this as low of a rating as I did. I am one of the biggest fans of the books and movies. I have always seen them as two different entities. However, The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies was difficult to watch. Yet, it had some very lovable moments too.
Many people complain that there are a lot of things that happened in the movie that never happened in the book. They're right and they're wrong. Yes, there is some added fluff with the addition of Tauriel but I still stand firm still that it at least made sense to have Thranduil's son, Legolas, in the film. He may not have been mentioned in the book but that doesn't mean he wasn't there. Why wouldn't the Prince of the Woodland Realm be there? But there were also a lot of cool things that were skipped over in The Hobbit and put in the Appendixes instead. Peter Jackson delivered to us a masterpiece wrought with Tolkien and his own imagination. It ended up working out brilliantly even if you don't agree, and in some cases, I didn't even agree but I still enjoyed the film immensely!
Yes, there's a few things that bothered me, the lack of chemistry between father and son. Now, I believe this was on purpose but I think it could have been a redeeming quality for Thranduil without having to make stuff up.
In any of the books, there is no mention of Legolas' mother. She didn't die as Legolas said. So, while it was cool to get a 'background' on Legolas, it felt very unnecessary. The only bright side to this is that by making stuff up, they showed more of Middle Earth by having Legolas go to the place of his mother's 'death'. It also gave Thranduil a bit of back story as well because it showed a deeper level of him and why he is so cold for an otherwise happy race of elves.
At least when it came to redeeming qualities, Thorin, was the man (or should I say Dwarf?) of the movie. Despite overwhelming dragon sickness he was able to come out on top in the end. Richard Armitage's performance was brilliant to the very last and he lacked not in chemistry with his brethren. Thorin's story may have been changed slightly from the book but it was a necessary and eloquent change. It brought out the true depth of his character and overcoming greed.
Truly, performance from the actors was all around fantastic. The biggest problem with the movie that I had was the contingency of the last film. I wasn't worried about them adding fluff but at times it almost felt ridiculous when things that actually did happen in the book could have been used instead. For instance, it would have been cool to see a bit more of Beorn and a bit less of made up love triangle/ damsel in distress that no one asked for. Not only would it have been better, it could have been a great comedic relief seeing Beorn maul some orcs for a minute or two.
The bright side, as I mentioned briefly above, was the footage of events that happened in the books but people didn't know about it unless they actually read the Appendixes (I'm one of those people) in the back of The Lord of the RIngs. In fact, I was completely thrilled to see Gandalf's story expanded upon more than it did from The Hobbit. I mean, who doesn't want to see more of Ian McKellan's amazing performance as Gandalf? Gandalf's expanded story was happening during the events of The Hobbit, So once again, bravo to Peter Jackson for paying attention to detail. If it's one thing Peter Jackson deserves a pat on the back for, it's his amazing eye for detail. He's the soul to The Lord of the Rings/ The Hobbit movie-verse. I don't believe another director could have pulled off half as well as PJ.
So why should you buy the Blu-Ray/DVD release today? Because despite it's flaws, [The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies](movie:512312) is a fantastic movie. Sure, it may deviate from the book, but don't adaptations always do that? My theory is this, if it was entertaining, it was worth it. This is a fantastic movie to sit down and watch with the family.