This is my first film review, and I am writing it down mainly because I need a way to get a load of hateful feelings off my chest...
Firstly, I apologize for the harsh review title, for insulting is an easy way to criticize, but it is quite an accurate way of summarizing this review and a manner of expressing my feelings. Secondly, this is a long review but I hope you take some time reading it, especially if you have the same sensation as the title expresses. Thirdly, I am glad to see that a lot of people share similar impressions from a film that by far does not deserve three Oscar nominations and an 8.1 rating, even though lately these are seldom to be considered valuable. Finally, I will approach this film basically on its cinematographic aspects and less on its content or on its relevance with Tolkien's work, for the disrespect to film as an art form is in my opinion even greater than the disrespect to the book – which is clearly out of proportion. However, maybe the greatest scandal of them all is the one Jackson does to himself.
THE THREE PARTS
Concerning this decision, diversified discussions exist. Many find it a dull idea because the book's content does not permit such a film length. Personally, I think it is an interesting idea to involve other elements from Tolkien's creation of Middle-Earth (Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, Children of Hurin), but Jackson totally ruins its potential. Instead of what he claims to do, he mostly fills it with ridiculously long and comic action scenes, an invented character – which happens to be really hot – and a cheesy, irrelevant love story.
These Hollywood clichés are the perfect recipe for capitalism, the compromise between art and business, even the complete neglect of art. What I find even more frustrating is how he then manages to make a 161 min. film with an overdose of fast moving cameras and less than one second during shots. Moreover, I am still unable to distinguish the dwarfs from one another and most of them barely even have lines. It also feels like Bilbo is disappearing behind Legolas and Tauriel. There are nearly no emotional connections being developed between the audience and the characters, compared to the LOTR trilogy, where strong bonds of empathy are constructed.
In An Unexpected Journey, the music is tolerable, although it certainly does not attain the magic of the LOTR soundtrack. However, here it seems as if Howard Shore ran out of inspiration, or does not find a way to bring the music to the front instead of letting it murmur in the background. And for Christ's sake, why in the world would you choose a sissy voice as Ed Sheeran's for your end credits, after a cliffhanger with a mighty dragon? Simply to expand the target public to teen girls and gain more profit.
Actually, I cannot remember any of the actors acting well, except maybe for Martin Freeman. For almost all of the other characters, a general failure is the unbelievable overacting, which is sometimes almost worth crying for. OK, the acting in the LOTR is also very theatrical, but it perfectly fits in the Middle-Earth atmosphere and it is always convincing and emotionally provoking. However, in this film, almost every line is exaggerated and edited in a way the deep male voices sound 'really cool' (think of Beorn and Thorin). I am even disappointed in Ian McKellen, who throws some extremely overacted lines as well.
A brief attention goes to the two love scenes between Tauriel and Kili. It reminds me of Jackson's The Lovely Bones, which is maybe the worst film I have ever seen. I thought he would not dare making such a mistake again. I was wrong. I could not believe my ears when Tauriel started saying meaningless, cheesy rubbish about the universe and it continued for at least five minutes. However, that was not enough
The scene where she is healing Kili's leg and an aura of white light appears was just making me sick. On the other hand, Benedict Cumberbatch's voice for Smaug is very convincing.
THE ACTION AND CGI
A simple thing I don't understand about modern CGI is that it is meant to make look things very realistic, but it often results in the contrary. There is a huge difference with the LOTR, especially with the Orcs and Wargs. I also have the feeling Jackson rarely went looking for a good setting and he just added everything with CGI. There is no more time for admiration of the magnificent landscapes from the LOTR and even from An Unexpected Journey. The only CGI that blew my mind was Smaug's appearance.
Another important thing is the action, in which Jackson completely loses himself making the impossible combat experience, which ends up in a very computer game-like sensation. He forgets Middle-Earth is an imaginary world, but with realistic physics. The river scene, Legolas' and Tauriel's scenes, it is not even worth discussing
I could go on for hours, but sadly there is a 1000 word limit. I hope you now agree with the choice my review title, because Peter Jackson is a perfect example of one who is consumed by capitalism – what I consider to be a severe illness – and therefore does not take time to think of a worthy completion of his previous artwork. I find it really hard to imagine him watching his premiere, and thinking he has made a brilliant piece of work.
The Lord of the Rings really made my teenager years and I was really grateful Jackson existed, but now he just ruined every single bit of respect I had for him
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