Oh, Snap! Viggo Mortensen Calls The 'Lord of The Rings' Trilogy A Mess

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 13: Viggo Mortensen attends the UK Premiere of 'The Two Faces Of January' at The Curzon Mayfair on May 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
Source: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Oh, snap! Let's talk about someone firing shots. Viggo Mortensen said that the Lord of The Rings trilogy was a mess. Whoaah. Apparently, he does not think too highly of some of Peter Jackson's decisions, especially as the trilogy progressed. He thinks that Jackson sacrificed subtlety and good filmmaking for the sake of special effects, 'cause you know the  classic kid's book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie? Well, call this tale If You Give Peter Jackson An Epic Budget.

It's not too hard to believe that — most of us are scoffing at the third Hobbit movie, which, with its blatant attempt at ballooning out a trilogy for the sake of showcasing special effects and for the ability to call it a trilogy, very well may be called "Doin' It For The Boxed Set," but there had been things that were irking folks, like Mortensen, since way back. He spoke to The Telegraph and voiced his opinion:

Officially, [Jackson] could say that he was finished in December 2000 — he’d shot all three films in the trilogy — but really the second and third ones were a mess [...] It was very sloppy — it just wasn’t done at all. It needed massive reshoots, which we did, year after year. But he would have never been given the extra money to do those if the first one hadn’t been a huge success. The second and third ones would have been straight to video.

Ooh. Someone's hitting on how Jackson's milking things til their last drop. He continued that the work got lazier and less emotionally potent as Jackson got more access to CGI:

Peter was always a geek in terms of technology but, once he had the means to do it, and the evolution of the technology really took off, he never looked back [...] In the first movie, yes, there’s Rivendell, and Mordor, but there’s sort of an organic quality to it, actors acting with each other, and real landscapes; it’s grittier [...] It was grandiose, and all that, but whatever was subtle, in the first movie, gradually got lost in the second and third. Now with The Hobbit one and two, it’s like that to the power of 10.

As a result, Mortensen has chosen to stick with material that is more about the characters, and less about the special effects — and he hopes that Jackson can ultimately do the same in the long run, even though it seems unlikely:

I was sure he would do another intimately scaled film like Heavenly Creatures, maybe with this project about New Zealanders in the First World War he wanted to make [...] But then he did King Kong. And then he did The Lovely Bones — and I thought that would be his smaller movie. But the problem is, he did it on a $90 million budget. That should have been a $15 million movie. The special effects thing, the genie, was out of the bottle, and it has him.

It's an age old trope: give a guy a big budget, a hefty paycheck, and a loyal following, and watch all hell break loose. Remember, it's like If You Give A Mouse A Cookie!

Regardless of whatever Jackson does, it's not particularly common for actors to openly call directors out on their shit, especially in such detail. But hey, Mortensen, you're probably not alone — just consider yourself a spokesperson. Also, wise move to avoid The Hobbit. Let Orlando Bloom bask in his yearly relevancy.




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