One of the most incompetent excuses for filmmaking I have ever seen. Basic techniques were simply done wrong with the only goal in sight being to make the damn thing longer. Pacing is all messed up, especially at the climax, when what should be the tension filled meat of it, cuts to annoying subplots we don't care about. I loved the LOTR trilogy, but Jackson has lost his way even worse than Lucas in the prequels.
Madly entertaining, with some admitted ups and downs. Much darker in tone than the breezier UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, with some marvelous moments of Martin Freeman's Bilbo realizing that there's something up with that Ring. The action scenes are brilliantly handled, and SMAUG himself is the dragon to end all dragons -- a splendid accomplishment.
I really wanted to like this -after all, this is a complete improvement from the first (Evangeline Lilly! Elvish fighgtt! Awe inspiring design of the Lake Town! And godamn The Barrel sequence is perhaps the greatest set piece in 2013's tentpole) but I can't because the fact that this film has no beginning and no ending justified my theory that Jackson only want to made us paid 3 admissions for a supposedly one film.
extended version The action is certainly the highlight of this second entry often at the expense of anything resembling character development. The plot points of the chapters adapted are certainly there, and then some, but the film overall just feels like a serial entry with the prerequisite cliffhanger. Effects are truly staggering especially Smaug. Extended version the preferable one for additional development.
By far the weakest of Peter Jackson's Middle Earth film, THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG manages to stretch 6 chapters of the book into nearly three hours of bloated, aimless wandering. Jackson fills the film with unnecessary characters and subplots that aren't in the book to pad out the plot, resulting in an unwieldy, over crowded film that feels unfocused, despite some great individual set pieces. Peter Jackson's Waterloo.
Now this feels more like it. Peter Jackson finally divides this particular Fellowship and brings much more dynamic to what we would expect on a Jackon/Middle Earth film. Fast-paced, dazzling, intense fighting scenes, the connections with LoTR, Samug the Magnificent, Laketown's scenic awe and Gandalf's special enemy make this second part of the trilogy much better than the first (dull, childish) one.