Now, if I wanted to get to the old fashioned way of looking at the whole deal, I'd be worried about the level of violence and the grace with which it is presented. The scenes of killing are neat, tidy, beautifully choreographed and even funny. It's beautiful film making (and I laughed and cheered along with the movie), but thinking back to the books, if I recall, there wasn't usually that much detail in the fighting. LOTR was not an "action" book, really. Adventure, Epic, yes, but I don't remember detailed delight in all the killings that the movie goes in for. Of course that's part of the differences in the media and can't be helped in some ways, but I can't help but think that Tolkien might not have approved of these films. In some sense I think the characters all desired nothing more than to not have to fight, to live peacefully and get on with life....that fighting was a necessity that was thrust upon them. The poetry of the images makes that fighting beautiful rather than the ugly, deadly business that it really is.
Being a warrior can create extraordinary psychic scars. We've lost more veterans to suicide than to the actual bombs and bullets of combat. Police officers kill themselves at a rate double that of the civilian population. I think in some ways the books were about that heavy burden of war. I find that missing or at least thwarted by the prettiness of the Elven fighting (both Legolas and Tauriel make combat look beautiful....it's not)....or by the humour present in much of the Dwarvish combat (I'm thinking of the barrels...great scene, but bloodlessly brutal...you don't see much blood, but there is a huge amount of violence covered by brilliant martial slapstick).
I think it's good for people to learn how to defend themselves (females and males)....learning a martial art is probably a good thing. Extolling, pardon my Saxon, the bad-assery of adventure characters (that's the term that keeps coming up in what I've read) or their brutal lethality (male or female), is problematic, I think. Maybe that's why I like Samwise Gamgee so much. He's not a warrior, he's not, nor would he ever be "bad-ass."