The movie suffers from being the middle part in a trilogy. Even with that handicap, the movie did a good job of having some resolution. The movie can almost stand on its own provided that you know the back story. It’s not necessary to have seen The Hobbit in order to understand the Lord of the Rings, but I highly recommend seeing the extended version of the Fellowship of the Ring in order to get a full understanding of the second movie.
The comedy was good. The Dwarf was the butt of many jokes. John Ryes Davies plays the Dwarf and the voice of the Ent. I guess there was no other voice talent available? Golem is an interesting character, probably even worth the new academy category created for animated characters at the Oscars.
The special effects are spectacular beyond Golem. You can really forget that some of the scenes are animated as your are emersed into the world. There are battles in broad daylight. CGI scenes are usually dark or raining to hide the CGI mistakes. These scene were bright as day.
If you have the time and like the genre, go see it. For me, I would have preferred to see it at home on DVD where I can pause the movie to watch it over several days. I am looking forward to the final movie. I would even like to see the same crew make version of “The Hobbit”.