Now, in terms of pacing, action, acting, plot, and humor, I think this film does a much better job in all these aspects than its predecessor. It takes more risks, offering more quirks for entertainment, but on a very hit-or-miss basis. There are more action sequences in this one, with a lot more ridiculous Pirates of the Carribean-esque antics, which surprisingly don't seem stale in this film, and a much more involving plot to boot. Characters are much more dynamic and lively than in the first film, and the acting and dialogue is much more interesting as well. Honestly, it's not even close to as good as the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but comparing it to Attack of the Clones would be an unwarranted insult to this film.
Unfortunately, it was very hit-or-miss, meaning the parts where it hit were really good, but the few parts that missed were just so bad that I couldn't give this film any more than I gave it. The Eye of Sauron scene still sticks out like a sore thumb...How such a painfully cheesy, cliche, pathetic "special effect" (if it could be called that) could have made it into the final film is beyond me. I don't think a single person in the theater held in their laughter at that scene. Basically, the eye of Sauron has an eye of Sauron at the top part of the pupil, and the camera zooms in through multiple eyes of Sauron within eyes of Sauron for what seemed to be an eternity but was probably really a mere ten seconds. Yes, it's like someone made a eye of Sauron-ception joke and threw it into the movie or something. But that's not all... Terrible basic Windows Movie Maker(TM) effects are sprinkled throughout the entire movie as if the movie was edited by some middle-schooler Info Tech "B" student who was undoubtedly priming clips of the movie to be remixed alongside Linkin Park music, so that maybe someone can actually feel emotionally moved by that romantic scene where the screen gets super bright and blurry while the characters in the scene have an emotional connection that makes Edward and Bella look like Romeo and Juliet by comparison. Oh, and the ending. The ending is really bad. Really, really, really bad.
So, I gave this a higher rating than the first, yet I wrote so much on what I didn't like about the film. So, why would I give it a higher rating than the first? The dragon was really cool, had a really great douchebag personality, and really carried a lot of the film's weight, moreso than Gollum could do for the first.
That is all.