As much as I’ve loved the Lord of the Rings trilogy (I’ve re-watched it countless times), I just haven’t felt that love for The Hobbit. Initially, I didn’t much like the first film – I still really don’t like the entire 45 minute intro – but upon re-watching it during the holidays I found more to like in the latter parts of the film. The second film was a bit better, and I’ll say that I was at least looking forward to the last film because it promised a big battle, and, well, I like big battles. A big battle is what I got, and it did not disappoint. This was a really thrilling film to watch for me – despite the slow start – and I dug most of it, especially once Thorin returned to normal and lead the charge. I do still feel like the Eagles continue to be a bit too deus ex machina, and here it’s especially unsatisfying, in terms of narrative, but it doesn’t stop that I dug all the action and large scale troupe movements.
Despite the fact that I love the original LOTR trilogy to death – and have watched the extended editions multiple times – I’ve had trouble getting excited for The Hobbit trilogy. I’m pretty sure it’s the tone I don’t like, due to the overly jolly band of dwarves that form the focus of the films. It took me a while before I finally watched the first one, and although as expected the opening moments were not fun for me, the second half became something much more exciting to watch. I will say that I liked The Desolation of Smaug quite a bit more, even though, again, it doesn’t match any of the films from the LOTR trilogy. But the sequence in the river with Legolas jumping everywhere and shooting arrows is definitely one of the best actions scenes in all of the films.