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A disappointing mess of a film, only made bearable because of a very few scenes.
When I went to the theater, I was filled with hope, excitement and joy. I'm the biggest Hobbit fan I know(I adore the movies, the book, and collect all the trinkets and art books I can.), and since the Desolation of Smaug had been a quite good movie, and I had heard Peter Jackson claim this film was going to be even more serious and thriller-y, I naturally assumed it was going to be a dark, thrilling movie that had me on the edge of my seat.
This was not the case.
The movie started with an extremely anticlimactic scene that killed suspension of disbelief, and continued on the same track. Smaug, while a masterpiece of animation, was disappointing, as was most of the movie. The film continued, and I was more and more confused- this is not the movie I had expected. It lacked a good plot, was confusing even to me(who has read the book and the production books five times over), and COULD NOT DECIDE WHAT IT WANTED TO BE.
One second, it was comedy, and while some scenes were amusing enough, some were just cringe-worthy(Peter Jackson's horrendous comic timing making itself known), but these scenes completely ruined the atmosphere of the film, making it dull and bland instead of tense and exciting.
The only saving grace this piece of badly directed trash had were the scenes with the King of the Dwarfs, Thorin, succumbing to madness, and his relationship dynamic with Bilbo(who had very little screen time for a film about him) These scenes were brilliant, mostly because of the heartfelt and excellent acting of Richard Armitage and Martin Freeman.
Sadly, even though one feels these scenes should be in center, the movie chooses to focus on dull battle sequences. The scenes that are truly good are hastily skipped over, and we move to classic bad PJ comedy and awful battle scenes. While in Lord of The Rings there were some goofy battle scenes, this movie almost seems like it's trying to make a parody of itself. I did not find many problems with Legolas's gravity defying skills in Desolation of Smaug, but here, it makes you wonder if Middle Earth is actually the moon in regards to the gravity-free atmosphere.
Other than the terrible battle scenes, we have the focus on a romance plot so bad it almost makes me blush of second-hand embarrassment. It's like the movie is trying to emulate elements from Titanic, but fails miserably. The romance was so forced it might as well be a spoof, and was a complete waste of a female character. I am in favor of female characters being added to the story. In fact, I love it. But here? It is so blatantly clear Tauriel was only added to be Kili's love interest, and it hurts my heart to see female character's butchered in this way.
(And that's not even mentioning the atrocity that was making Galadriel, who is the strongest person in middle-earth, laying on the floor sobbing and waiting for her strong male wizard companions to help her.)
The death scenes of some of the characters were underwhelming, except for one, which was emotional enough to make me give this movie my almost-approval, but it is just as many of us feared: This movie gives no screen time or attention to dwarfs who are not Thorin Oakenshield and Kili(we don't even see them fight in this movie. They just stand in the background.)
So, to sum it up, if you expect a thrilling experience, you're out of luck. The movie was generally poorly paced, poorly directed, with really awful CGI, conflicts that were created, solved and sometimes forgotten in the blink of an eye, and an excess of Legolas.(WHO IS LITERALLY JUST THERE TO LOOK PRETTY AND DO STUNTS.). It is a worth watch if you're a fan, but only for a couple of scenes that the director seemed to have deemed unimportant despite them being the only reason this movie was even worth the name. Tasteless jokes, awful fight scenes, terrible cheesy romance that puts the notebook to shame, and more questions than answers in the end. Peter Jackson truly did not deliver, even though it's clear he tried.
He simply tried too much.