I enjoyed this one MUCH more than the first one. I cannot tolerate suspense even when I know the outcome, and the first movie seemed to consist entirely of suspenseful running. This movie contained a little more variety in the action with cool combat scenes along with the freaky chase as well as plenty of little mini-plots and the focus on different lines of the story. I loved the more personal scenes amongst the characters in this movie.
An older Orlando Bloom equals a much more manly and well-acted Legolas; I was quite impressed and pleased. His fighting skills were pretty cool as well; although since I am girly, I didn't get a great thrill out of those . . . or the head scenes (although Legolas did not seem to relish them all either, particularly the one in which he had no choice; my sister remarked that Legolas was prim and his father was not).
Ah, Thranduil. Lots of crushing here. I am chronically late, and while I was still getting ready before we left for the movie (we were going straight from the movie to the first family Christmas celebration) my next sister yelled up at me to hurry up because she had a date with Legolas's dad (we know his name, but some of us get a kick out of referring to him thus) . . . and Thorin . . . and Bard . . . and Fili. I prefer Kili whilst she and another sister prefer Fili, we established that last year, and this year we established that Dean O'Gorman is handsomer than Aiden Turner, at least in red carpet photos, which anomaly irritates me to no end since Kili IS handsomer . . . how does that work? I have since discovered Aiden Turner is quite adorable in his Being Human photos, so that amends the issue somewhat (important things, peoples, hello!).
Hello King Haughtiness Hotiness. Yeah, he was messed up (we thought this bit, pardon any inaccuracies, hilarious: "Why did you do that? We promised to set him free." "I did free him. I freed his wretched head from his miserable shoulders.").
And Bard. I owe you my deepest apologies, you do not look as much like Legolas as I thought, and there is so much more to you than that similarity.
He had a family, and he was young (I love young parents; it is sooo much cuter). This is sooo heartwarming and even the terrible acting of his children could not ruin it. I love how he is the descendent of the mayor of Dale, and he has the arrow, and he is trying to protect the town, and he is sooo noble that he doesn't turn away my darling sick Kili. Yeah, Bard is awesome. But my sister has her claws in him and has since we were little and Dad read The Hobbit aloud to us. (She has her claws in Tom Hiddleston too; I am almost not "allowed" to like these guys! Seriously, don't ruin my crushfest).
This is the scene during which the proper reaction of all watching is,"Thorin, go and die."
My most belovedest happens to be the one to have the love affair in the movie. He is sooo sweet and brave with his wound, and his older brother is so sweet and loyal and protective of him! So there fat, ole Thorin! (Yeah, Richard Armitage is, don't murder me, not handsome enough as a dwarf to beat all the rest of the handsomeness and his own character's beastliness. I don't remember Thorin in the book being quite so obnoxious so soon in the story as he was in these movies. I know I wanted to clobber him in the book when they reached the mountain, but before that I thought he was just a boring snob. Apparently I am due for another reread. I should've reread it again before this movie, and I definitely will before the third movie).
Well, no one loves him enough because there are not enough photos of him from this movie. I want a picture of him sick and suffering bravely. How about one of him laughing (and probably from the first movie) instead?
Of course Tauriel couldn't resist this face. Tauriel, hmm, well, I don't like feminist fighters, my sisters didn't think she was too strongly this, but I wish that Kili could have saved himself in fights a bit more (I am by no means maligning his bravery nor speaking of the healing scene, he fought bravely whilst wounded and insisted he could make the journey to the misty mountain grey faced and all; I am saying give him some dignity Tauriel!). I also don't care for the fact that she is the one pushing the elves to action. Side note, I just saw a fanart photo of Thorin holding baby Kili...I forgive Thorin EVERYTHING. Not really, it is his fault Kili and Fili die. Oh!
As to the accuracy to the book. About nil. I exaggerate. But like I mentioned, I didn't reread The Hobbit this time, so I cannot even remember how I should be picky if I even wanted to be so. I feel like since Peter Jackson took such liberty with the plot in the first movie (as he with LoftR, particularly Two Towers: Faramir was faaaar more noble than the movie change made him), it didn't really matter so much how much the second film was changed; I mean if you already damaged it beyond repair . . .
So yeah, I wanted to see it again soon after I watched it. I will happily re-watch it when it comes out on DVD (I wasn't super eager to see the first movie again soon after seeing it and haven't re-watched it much).