Director: Peter Jackson. Cast: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Fry. 161 min. Rated PG-13. USA/New Zealand. Adventure/Fantasy.
More of the same. Yes, the production design is insanely well done (like always), and Smaug the dragon is a visual feat beyond your wildest dreams. But again, there's one action sequence after another, with repeating camera roller coaster point-of-view shots, and Legolas' arrows saving the day at the last minute, ad nauseam. The 3D HFR format (high-frame rate; 48 frames per second instead of the usual 24) was a strain to the eyes, creating a "soap opera" effect reminiscent of old British TV shows. If you have a crushing urge to watch this, feel content with 2D.