While the first Hobbit film doesn’t feel like a story stretched too thin, the second film does a little bit. But the third film lets us figure out on our own how it could have been combined with the previous installment. However, it’s a fairly entertaining stretched story. Even though the battle scenes were at ridiculous durations, I enjoyed watching them.
Smaug is a highlight. The movie’s opening with him attacking the city is fantastic, but we don’t see nearly enough of him. As someone who has not read the book, I wasn’t aware that Golum wouldn’t make an appearance–a realization that bummed me out because he’s such a great character.
The last film of any series is exciting by nature, because we are anxious to see how they will conclude. However, for a small chunk of this film, between the two battles, we are bored. There is a lot of pre-battle setup which is easy to follow, but not easy to stay awake through. We are given a film that is sandwiched between two big battles. But at least they are both coherent and not just a big shaky-cam fest.
I wish to see a little more character depth–besides the internal conflict that Thorin goes through, which means nothing to the audience unless they strongly remember the events of the first two films.
At the end, I had to be reminded what all this was for. And once I remembered, I laughed–mostly because it seems like a whole lot of hassle for something that’s not that big of a deal.
Realistically, I could watch these films over and over again without paying attention to the story because the visuals and the scenery are so amazing. You get lost in its world–an accomplishment in its own right.