Spoilers. I see both sides of the argument. People call it too long, too unlike like the book (constituting mostly to the inclusion of the Love Triangle), and too disorganized. On the other hand, people also call it an improvement over the last film, including more action, new characters, and outstanding special effects. Obviously I'm not going to get to touch on everything about this film due to my limited word count, but I'm keeping in mind how controversial these films are in the eyes of the public. Let's cut to the part that everyone knows. Smaug: Big Bad, Ensemble Darkhorse, Visual Effects of Awesome, Benedict freaking Cumberbatch! I can imagine that a lot of people went to see the movie just to see him, and let me tell you, he was no disappointment. Upon his reveal, everything about him just screamed "worth the wait!". Unfortunately, and I really really really, did not want to admit this, he was on screen way too long. His Badass Boast as featured in the book was really stretching his screen time, and as I've heard it said before, he became more of an effect than a character rather quickly. But this brings me to a point that I'd like to touch on: the differences between the book and the movie. Book snobs who exist just to point fingers at what the films did wrong should note that I believe the parts in both The Hobbit films that have been accused of biding their time are actually the ones that stay truest to the book. The part where the dwarves run into the mountain to fight Smaug I found to be more interesting than Bilbo just talking to him before he heads off to Laketown, and I also found it more realistic that they would actually try to put up a fight against him rather than let Bilbo face him alone after getting caught for burglary. The other thing people hate about this film is, of course, the Love Triangle, but I'm not going to touch on that much because I actually liked it and have little information to back me up on my opinion. Overall, the film was better than the first, and had scenes like the spiders and the barrels that were visually stunning and worthy of acclaim. I also enjoyed Gandalf's subplot which connects the story to Lord of the Rings, because it feels like the world actually has consistency unlike most other fictional settings.
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