Just as with the first outing, the middle of part of Peter Jackson's extended The Hobbit fanfiction is visually awesome, has great action scenes and is about as tightly focused as a ball of wool after a kitten's been at it. By adding all the stuff Gandalf is off doing, the story reads far more as Lord of the Rings: The Prequel, and while it's still fun that way, it takes away quite a bit from the story.
The introduction of Tauriel, with an entirely irrelevant plotline about the need for the elves to involve themselves in the fight against the dark, only emphasises this prequel feeling - though on the whole Tauriel's story is one of the most interesting in this particular segment of the trilogy and she's a lot of fun to watch and almost manages to ignore the half-formed suggestion of a love plot wedged in with her "we are part of this war" theme. I was sorry to see that while Tauriel was introduced so that there could be a female character doing stuff, Bard's two daughters are used for screaming and hiding under tables.
Smaauwwwg himself was all kinds of awesome, as was the humungous piles of gold scenes.