Finally saw The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies last week.
This prequel trilogy has been a wildly uneven ride for me. I don’t think I’d ever care to watch the first film again in my life; it was three long hours of boredom, unnecessary story padding, pointless cameos and forgettable action sequences with far too many CGI characters. The Desolation of Smaug on the other hand was a pleasant surprise that made me feel like these films finally had a reason to exist. It still suffered from many of the same problems, most notably overlong action sequences with very questionable physics (even by movie standards), but it also injected some urgency and momentum into the story, introduced new engaging characters, and had great action even if some of it went on for too long. I even liked the elf/dwarf romance which apparently annoyed a lot of people. And of course it had the magnificent creature that is Smaug the dragon.