Okay, at any rate, the film review.
First off, it does drag on forever, which, being the middle of a trilogy, three hours, and part of an epic, is to be expected. For some reason, I remember the first movie as being much prettier, with better effects. Maybe that was just because of more interesting settings, lots of wastelands and empty plains in this one.
Everyone is talking about Gollum, which is to be understood. He was well voiced and well animated and well scripted. I think the main reason he stands out is because he was the most interesting character in the whole thing. Everyone else has already fallen into set roles, and we don't see a great deal of interest in anyone else. Yeah, I said it, all of the characters were pretty damn flat. Which is the main reason I stopped reading the books.
The seriousminded, reluctant and oh so bad ass leader, Aragorn. The NPC badass who gets shit done, Gandalf. Random fighter dudes galore, and then the requsite window dressing, Legolas.
Despite my "fucking elves, damn fucking elves", I can't be too hard on Legolas. I've played many a swashbuckler in RPGs that tried those same moves, with less consistant success. Especially the shield thing. I had a character who did something like that, right down to impaling the guy with the shield at the end. Not to be a spoiler or anything for those that haven't seen it.
I can't fault the film for its special effects, and it was decidedly cool to see Massive in action; everyone in the crowd scenes was an individual, and it made me think back to films like Spartacus, or more recently, Gettysburg. These massive, extra-packed slugfests, except this one was all CG.