I read The Hobbit in time to see the first installment of the trilogy last Christmas and I have to say I feel my enjoyment of the films would be better if I hadn’t. I find it disappointing that a book half the size of one Lord of the Rings books gets 3 installments when a lot was left out the Lord of the Rings books to make 3 films.
Personally I would have liked the film to be one movie detailing the whole of The Hobbit book rather than creating characters and embellishing story lines to stretch to 3 movies. I maybe in the minority on that one!
The film is well made and what action there is was done well. The characters are the usual high standard and Smaug is incredible. There is something about a story with a dragon in it that appeals to my imagination and I felt the dragon I pictured from the book came alive on the screen.
I wonder if other people who have read the book had the same reaction as me to the movie. My brother enjoyed it immensely having not read the book and didn’t really care that it wasn’t true to the original. I ended up wishing I had waited to the end of the trilogy before reading The Hobbit so I could enjoy it as much as he did.