This movie was better than the first Hobbit movie. As much as I liked that movie, it was pretty long. This one might not be much shorter but it does open a bit quicker.
The second movie opens with a flashback. After the flashback, the movie does return to the action at the end of the first movie. Bilbo and the band of dwarfs are running from orcs and heading to the lonely mountain. Bilbo has the one ring but hasn’t told anyone about it. He almost tells Gandalf but doesn’t.
Smaug was very impressive on the big screen. He might be the most impressive dragon on screen in ages. Benedict Cumberbatch is good at the voice of Smaug.
Richard Artmitage was better in the second movie. He seemed more heroic and king-like, at least to me. Martin Freeman is good as well.
The movie is still a bit padded. This whole set of movies is padded. I think this could be done as two movies, at most or maybe even as one movie.
There are no love triangles in Tolkein’s novels. I am not saying that he was anti-romantic exactly. It was nice to see Orlando Bloom back in Middle Earth however.
This is a good movie but I don’t think it is a great movie.