The most that can be said for the dwarves is this: they intended to pay Bilbo really handsomely for his services; they had brought him to do a nasty job for them, and they did not mind the poor little fellow doing it if he would; but they would all have done their best to get him out of trouble, if he got into it...There it is: dwarves are not heroes, but calculating folk with a great idea of the value of money; some are tricky and treacherous and pretty bad lots; some are not, but are decent enough people like Thorin and Company, if you don't expect too much. (The Hobbit, Chapter 12)
Yeah, this is where the dwarves' incompetence stops being funny and starts being full of fail.
I've been ribbing on the changes PJ made to Tolkien's elves, but the changes he made to the dwarves are just as drastic and for the better (not perfect, but better). They're still a bunch of dudes who have no idea what they're doing and constantly need saving, but
1) They all pretty much have personalities and distinct characterization - maybe not entirely memorable - but, 13 dwarves. 13.
2) Thorin has gone from pompous and self important to bitter and MAJESTIC, which is brilliant. IDK if his entrance into Lake Town was supposed to be cool or something, but I was cringing in embarrassment.
3) Their motivation has shifted from GOLD and also revenge to ~reclaiming their homeland~ (and also revenge). I wonder how that's going to play out once the movie!dwarves get to the Lonely Mountain? I can't see them making the same choices/being the assholes (or the same kind of assholes, anyway) as the book!dwarves.
Man, these are a lot of thoughts for a movie I was mostly ambivalent about.