I just saw it today. Although I mostly enjoyed it, I had go with the middle option because a few things bugged me.
I mostly liked the acting. Adelaide did fine as Heather, and Sean Bean was alright while he was in it. Kit Harrington didn't necessarily give a bad
performance, he just got saddled with awkward exposition and meh dialogue for most of it. Malcolm McDowell had the same problem, but he only had one scene and managed to mostly pull off the dialogue. He's awesome, what can I say? Carrie-Anne Moss was good as Claudia, but I wished we could have seen more of her. Martin Donovan's Douglas isn't around long enough for me to really feel much about his performance, and most of his dialogue is, once again, awkward exposition. Oh, and Radha Mitchell? Way to fucking phone in a performance.
The effects were okay for the most part. The CGI was iffy in places, but the makeup effects on the creatures were pretty well done.
I was fine with most of the monsters, I just wished their scenes had been longer.
I love the look of the spiderquin and most of the scene surrounding it, but Suki was pointless and the way the scene ended was a Paul W.S. Anderson style anti-climax. I feel that it would have been more effective if it had been longer and just been Heather being stalked all by her lonesome. Also, I loved the look of the Leonardster, but he didn't stick around long enough. The same goes for most of the monster scenes. They would have been better if they had been treated a bit more like set pieces in their own right. The only one that got extended screen time apart from the Nurses and PH was the Missionary, and that didn't really make a lot of sense given what happens at the end.
The set design was pretty good, but I would have liked to have seen more of the foggy SH. I'm also not entirely sure why the outdoor Otherworld looked like something out of Escape From New York.
Now for plot, pacing, and characters. The overall idea of the plot isn't necessarily a bad idea. Introducing the Order into the movieverse could work, but the actual explanation for it is very, very murky.
At times, it seemed like The Order of Valtiel was being equated to the Brethren from the first film, which doesn't really make sense, but then at other times it seems as though the Order was simply pulling the Brethren's strings from behind the scenes. Also, their motivations were unclear. At one point they go on about how Alessa needs to be destroyed to lift the darkness, but Claudia claims they're going to birth Valtiel from Heather or something like that. She also seems to think that she needs the Seal to accomplish, but why or how she thinks that is never explained.
The pacing is probably the biggest problem with the movie for me. If it had been given 15-20 more minutes to clarify what the hell all the characters/organizations/giant fuck off spiders want or are talking about, the movie would flow much better as a result.
I didn't care for a couple of the plot points. The cops chasing after Heather literally disappear after three minutes total screen time, and add fuck all to the proceedings. Likewise, Rose has only a brief, phoned in cameo before disappearing from the movie. I get the impression from this that scenes were cut.
I very much liked the idea of what Bassett was doing with Vincent, but the reveal of his affiliation with The Order happened way too early on. It should have been saved for later, after more potential bonding between him and Heather.
There are things I just don't get about Claudia. Okay, so the magical plot device transforms her into the Missionary... a monster who has showed up twice before. Unless that's how the Otherworld fucks with all of the cult members, or she has powers of her own, this doesn't make much sense. Also, she's Christabella's sister. Really, Bassett? I respect you and your work, but that was just wtf-ery of the highest form.
Heather, my favorite character from any SH game, however, is handled well here. Adelaide plays her nearly perfectly, and I loved how her and Bassett brought out the vulnerability of her character a bit and toned down her snarkiness. It makes her feel more like a real person to me.
The dialogue ranged from okay to really awkward. I wouldn't have minded this so much if it weren't for the exposition I've already mentioned. it was really, really clunky and confusing. Between this and some of the plot's murkiness, the script could have done with a rewrite or three to smooth things out.
Now, the ending/climax...
While I enjoyed the fight scene between PH and the Claudissionary, it seemed rather small-scale and anticlimactic. I would have preferred if Heather had somehow used the Seal to make Valtiel birth out of Claudia, and then had PH fight that instead.
Overall, it's a heavily flawed film that I enjoyed immensely in spite of its problems. It may not be a "good" film necessarily, but no way is it 8% on the Tomamtometer bad.