I found it rather disappointing. The same was true for the first installment, but that won’t stop me from watching the third as … yeah too much of a fan of the book and too much damn optimism. Still, fan and optimism aside, I can’t ignore the fact that the pacing in this movie was awful. People complained about the walking back in the pre-extended edition original Lord of the Rings: Fellowship blah blah blah. This feels worse. It feels worse because OMG THE BOOK IS SO FREAKING SHORT! WHY IS THIS TAKING SO DAMN LONG?!?!
The action (like in the barrel scene) was good. The barrel scene fight was superb ballet, really. Fabulously choreographed and executed. But, taken as a whole, it’s a very stop and go movie.
Actors and Acting:
Honestly, I don’t feel like going into this. Same damn people, every damn time. Here is a list of them. Legolas (Bloom) felt, understandably, older than his character in LotR, because HE is like ten years older. He had what felt like no chemistry with Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly), but then I guess that made the connection between Tauriel and Kili (Aiden Turner) actually believable and the only thing (besides OMG YAY A DRAGON!) worth watching in the whole of the thing.
I don’t disagree with that statement as shown on LOTR Confessions, but the thing is, they ended up being the most genuine thing in the film. The dwarves uncover their homeland. And I felt nothing. It was the acting, it was the pacing, maybe the script writing, maybe the way it was filmed, probably a little bit of all of it. I don’t like how Tolkin’s stuff totally fails the Bechedel test with everything, but I still connected somewhat with the sort of pull they had to one another. It was campy as hell, but the fact was that “campy as hell” was the best I got out of the mess.
I say that, but Martin Freeman, our Bilbo, did a good job. His brown nosing with Smaug was fun and well acted.
Graphics and Visuals
The visual graphics we also pretty disappointing in all BUT the dragon, which was pleasant…
…though you have the help of “obviously bullshit, so I’ll accept that it’s flawed” on your side when designing something like a giant CGI dragon, but it seems very obvious that all that money was spent on the dragon and not, say, the liquid gold which looks rather like a different color of the stuff used in The Matrix.
Or Terminator 2.
Which are both darn old movies now. I realize liquid graphics aren’t the easiest, but that was shoddy.
I will give the tiny bit of credit to the landscape shots, as always, these are beautiful. But, really, I know NZ is beautiful by now. You’ve spent over a decade convincing me of this fact. Stop wasting time with it!
The LOTR Debate (aka rant)
I know it’s not a “prequel” (though in does make a beginning for the LOTR, no denying that, and it’s being pointed in that direction, regardless), and I know it’s not supposed to be a copy of LOTR (though some of the dialogue, tone, and camera work mimic it very closely). My problem lies in the stretching out of the story in what feels, to me, as a grab for money and little else. I don’t feel that the additions and stretching adds much to the film (see the pacing issue, a lot of it can be connected to this), and (again, I realize it’s NOT LOTR) with the LOTR movies, specifically looking at the original which had to sell the idea that an epic fantasy movie could be made to sell with the sort of pacing typical to big-budget films, there’s no reason for 3 movies out of this one, small book except grasping. It could reasonably been done in two, in my opinion.
By the time the credit screen rolls (which I was both wishing for and dreading when it did), I felt let down because I felt like it COULD have ended (as in taken the time to complete the whole story, wasn’t it SUPPOSED to be 2 movies at some point? Actually, wasn’t it supposed to be ONE?), and grateful because GAH those liquid effects were wearing me out.
Yet, I’m still going to keep watching it because: