I watched it and loved it but, as with everyone else in this thread, I have to agree that it definitely doesn’t seem to be as fresh as its predecessors due to the fact that it seems to just be the same formula with altered clothing. Nevertheless, the film was definitely funnier than any of the LotR films before it and it gets major brownie points for that. It seems that dwarves make the best fantasy movie comic relief.
My parents, who are massive Tolkien fans, loved it but critiqued that some parts in the movie were different from the source material. They liked that the movie took elements from the mythos of LotR that were not in the actual story though. Now, other people who haven’t read the book can appreciate the story just as well as those who have.
However, some scenes were still questionable to me.
Rock giants out of nowhere. There was absolutely no build up to the scene. They could have mentioned it just before like, “You know, laddies… I heard that rock giants dwell in these misty mountains. I wonder if it’s true?” then BAM rock giants. That would have worked better than just shouting “THE LEGENDS WERE TRUE” like as if we were supposed to know all this info before hand.
Those eagles are the biggest trolls ever. Why couldn’t they have flown the dwarves all the way to Erebor? Instead, they leave them on top of a stone pillar that’s about only a third of the way there. Seriously, this problem translates to the Lord of the Rings too. If the eagles were able to fly Sam and Frodo away from Mount Doom, why couldn’t they have given them the same trip in reverse. Could’ve saved the two a whole lot of trouble.
On a more technical note, the 48 fps speed was a tad unsettling at the beginning but I think my eyes forced themselves to adjust to it because I was fine in the latter parts of the movie. I pity the people who had to watch this movie with a third dimension, though. Must have been painful.