This movie exceeded all my expectations and was even better than the first. And coming from someone who freaking adores the first movie, that is saying something. :D
EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS MOVIE MADE ME SQUEE WITH DELIGHT. Basically it was a nonstop action sequence from beginning to end. From the beginning flashback scene (which made me super happy because Thorin! in Bree! at the Prancing Pony! talking with Gandalf! :DDDDD) to Beorn's house and Mirkwood to Thranduil's halls and the barrel scene (omfgawd the barrel scene!) and Laketown and Erebor (which is fucking beautiful and magical) and Smaug (his design jfc). Just, from the fighting sequences to the emotional moments to the music, EVERYTHING WAS BEAUTIFUL AND AMAZING AND IT WAS EVERYTHING I EVER COULD HAVE WANTED.
AND THORIN! THORIN OAKENSHIELD, MY GRUMPY BB, HE WAS JUST SO TRAGICALLY BEAUTIFUL IN THIS MOVIE I LITERALLY CANNOT.
Like okay, I'm gonna gush over Richard Armitage because the way he portrayed Thorin was fucking phenomenal in this movie. Like, honestly it's no surprise because he did fantastically in the first one and is just amazing in this role all around. But in this? I honestly cannot with him and his talented self. He is literally someone who can convey everything just through the eyes alone and make it a performance. Just the amount of emoting and nuance in his entire performance in this made me :D and ;__; and ♥___♥ throughout the whole movie. He makes Thorin such a sympathetic, tragic character and how he cares about his Company (which includes Bilbo, and oh god I have a lot of thoughts about that too!) and he's so determined to NOT FAIL this quest and there's so much EMOTION going through him and it's so wonderful and beautiful and just, ugh. I LOVE THORIN SO MUCH AND HIS STUBBORNNESS AND HIS DETERMINATION AND DEDICATION AND HIS FEAR OF FAILURE AND FEAR OF THE SICKNESS AND FEAR OF THE DRAGON BUT HE WANTS TO SUCCEED AND HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS NEPHEWS AND JUST ALKJS;FDALSF;DLASFK, STAHP BEING SO TRAGICALLY WONDERFUL THORIN AND STAHP BEING SO UBER TALENTED RICHARD FOR CONVEYING ALL THESE THINGS (AND MORE) ON THE SCREEN.
AND BY THAT I MEAN DON'T STOP BECAUSE I COULD LITERALLY JUST SIT WATCHING YOU EMOTE FOR HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS.
LIKE OKAY HIS FACE DOES THINGS AND IT'S REMARKABLE AND IT MAKES ME HAVE FEELS AND EMOTIONS. Like when they reach Erebor and he thinks they failed at not opening the door?? and then when they finally do open the door and him reminiscinG, and when he was being concerned!uncle over Kili being injured and telling him to stay behind to heal and even his face when Balin is calling him out and basically confronting Thorin about his own fear regarding the gold sickness and you can see Thorin's hesitation and fear just from his eyes and face alone and not just that but him actually facing the dragon he most fears and ugh JUST WHYYYYY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME OMG PERFECTION UPON PERFECTION SOLID PERFORMANCE AFTER SOLID PERFORMANCE, IT MAKES ME FEEL SO MANY FEELS.
And then there's his relationship with Bilbo, which has definitely grown from the first movie. There's no question that Thorin regards him as part of the Company now. He no longer doubts him, but he puts his faith and trust in this particular Hobbit, who saves them more than once in this film, and Thorin is more than grateful for it. Bilbo has come into his own and you see that very clearly from the start, and he continues to surprise not just Thorin but all the rest of the dwarves as well. Like, towards the end when they're all in Erebor, Thorin practically is becoming a hardcore leader and when he's ordering his Company to get shit down, they get shit done and Bilbo is amongst them. He trusts Bilbo and I loved seeing that, especially since most of the first movie he was very indifferent and distant and cold towards him. Which makes me incredibly excited but also anxious and kinda dreading the third movie when this friendship basically ends up breaking because of that gorram frakking Arkenstone. Granted, we knew it was coming, Bilbo knows about the sickness that may dwell inside of Thorin, and he even got a glimpse at what this madness may do to him because of THAT SCENE WITH THORIN STOPPING BILBO WITH THE SWORD AND BACKING HIM UP WITH IT WITH THAT SPECIFIC LOOK IN HIS EYE AND OH NO I'M NOT READY FOR THAT NO! D: And it's just gonna hurt seeing Thorin spiral further down into that sickness in the third film, and that his friendship with Bilbo will both climb to new heights (Richard mentioned this as much in interviews that Bilbo becomes his confidant and there will be some scenes in the third film showing more of that) and then it will all come crashing down on them AND I BOTH WANT TO SEE THAT HAPPEN AND NOT HAVE IT HAPPEN BECAUSE I WANT THEM TO BE HAPPILY EVER AFTER IN THEIR FRIENDSHIP AND BOND AND COMPANIONSHIP AND THINGS AND JUST NO. D: D: D: D:
PLUS, WE HAVEN'T EVEN GOTTEN THE MITHRIL SCENE YET! I knew that the chances of it happening in this film was slim, because of everything that was happening (and it was a freaking lot), but it will definitely occur at the beginning of the next one and I want it so badly but THAT MEANS I HAVE TO SUFFER THE HEARTBREAK OF THE REST OF THE FILM AND I JUST WANT THAT BEAUTIFUL SCENE OF THE GIFT-GIVING OF THE MITHRIL SHIRT BECAUSE IT'S SUPER SIGNIFICANT AND JUST AAHHHHHHHHHH.
(Note: The Thorin/Bilbo relationship is very important to me, just like Thorin is important and all the Durin family feels are important. Everything is important when it comes to these goddamn characters and their stubbornness and I just can't even okay.)
Yes, I will be making a proper review later once I've recovered because there are other things that happened and other characters I want to discuss. I just had to get my fangirling on this particular grumpy stubborn dwarf who has stolen my heart out of the way because he was one of the main reasons that I fell in love with these movies in the first place, and got me right back into the Middle-earth love all over again. Richard was fantastic, and I can't wait to see what he does in the third film (furthering in breaking my heart), and Thorin is just a character who I simultaneously sympathize/empathize with/want to wrap in a blanket to protect him along and smack some sense into, or possibly smack the sickness out of him, whichever works.
In short: I LOVE THIS MOVIE IT IS EVERYTHING I WANTED AND MORE. I WANT TO LIVE IN THIS MOVIE. I WANT TO ROLL AROUND IN IT LIKE SMAUG ROLLING AROUND IN THAT GOLD OKAY. I WANT THEM TO MAKE MILLIONS MORE HOBBIT FILMS (SPECIFICALLY FOCUSING ON THORIN, BUT THAT'S JUST ME.) I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT, AND I WANNA GO A CAGILLION TIMES MORE! :D :D :D :D