(This review may contain spoilers).
Having seen the first two films in this series, I was fairly eager to watch the third… and even more so when it turned out the cinema I go to was having a midnight showing. (I also managed to catch most of the second film in the triple bill showing).
There’s something a bit difficult about watching something that I know is going to end in a particular way, at least in my opinion. Despite knowing the storyline, though, the journey getting there worked especially well… and I found myself really drawn into this film from the start.
It was interesting to see the stark contrast between Thorin in this film, compared to how he was in the first film. It’s very clear the hold the Arkenstone has on him without even fully being in his grasp, particularly when it comes to Thorin’s paranoia and his refusal to honour his word.
One of my favourite parts in this film was Bard’s relationship with his children. All the way through, I could see their high priority to him and since family relationships are among my favourites, I really enjoyed that. There were also some really sweet moments between Thorin and his nephews.
I was much less keen on the romance between Tauriel and Kili. It didn’t feel real to me and the emotions didn’t really seem that intense, even by the end. I think the film would have worked better without the romance included at all… and maybe some of the existing female characters explored, rather than shoving an entirely new one where she didn’t really belong.
Although a lot of this film was really intense, there were some humorous moments, particularly regarding Alfred. I really didn’t like him as a character… but I have to admit, there were times when he broke up the tension during the film.
Bard and Kili are definitely my favourite characters in this, though there were times I got behind a lot of the ‘good’ characters. There were a lot of moving moments in this and I felt myself close to tears a couple of times because of how strongly affected I was by this film.
I will probably buy the DVD eventually when it comes out, but I’m not sure I’ll watch it as much as the first and second.