Spoilers below I guess.
In the end, here are my thoughts on the film:
The Hobbit should be The Hobbit, but since I knew it wasn't going to be about that going in, I lowered my expectations and so it was ok. I liked it. I loved parts. I disliked parts. It's more about the Rise of the Shadow in Middle-earth than The Hobbit storyline, but again. I already knew that was going to happen. Also, anything that gives Andy Serkis more "screen time" can never be a bad decision. When Gollum happened I had too much of a fangirl reaction to be normal. I love Andy Serkis and I am not ashamed.
Had I not been a Tolkien fan, this movie would have dragged on and on. I loved the beginning because there was Frodo and old Bilbo, but then the introduction of all the dwarves took forever. I did end up liking them all much more than I expected, save for Thorin who I didn't like at all, though I wish I had. Regular movie-goers (opposed to book nerds) probably felt like dozing the entire beginning. They wanted a journey, but we were still in Bag End an hour after the film started.
The last fight scene was so over-the-top slow-motion dramatic I am sure you could hear my eyes rolling. The pale orc was way overdone as well. I hated all that extra stuff that basically just added fake tension and minutes to the film. Hated it. It didn't add anything for me because it felt regurgitated and contrived. If PJ had been able to present that extra stuff in a better way, maybe a more original way than cookie cutter bullcrap from LotR, maybe I could have dealt with it. And if they had added something to Thorin's character other than just making him seem petulant and bitchy, sure that would have been good, too. But it did not work. Not for me, and many others at least. I know it was trying to beef up their story, but it didn't add what it should have.
Also, it was unnecessary because as cool as the dwarves are, they aren't supposed to be the stars, so beefing them up to overshadow Bilbo was never going to work for me. But I had at least hoped what they did would be better than what it actually turned out to be. Azog, the pale orc, just needs to GET OUT.
That's not to say I wasn't surprised by how much I loved some of the dwarves. I really enjoyed them. Especially Bofur and Bilbo's exchange near the end. I felt that and it was so sweet. It's really just all the extra stuff they added and tweaked for Thorin that pissed me off. Like... do we really need a history lesson at the campsite with a flashback of Thorin's life while he broodingly pouts across the way? We've seen that before PJ! Find a new trick. Ugh, PJ is such a sap and overly self indulgent and he reminded me of that at ever turn.
However, I enjoy it for the most part, and especially these:
- Gollum was the best part of this movie.
- Gandalf was absolutely badass.
- Bilbo was precious, but as I suspected, there was not enough of him.
- There was Frodo at the beginning and he checked the mail and I died.