Friday, August 1, 2014

Third Time Pays For All?

The first teaser trailer for the third Hobbit movie by Peter Jackson, The Battle of the Five Armies, has been released, and we have been given our first glimpses of what to expect come December. To me, the portents are not good.

The title alone is off-putting. The Battle of the Five Armies? Where did that clunky second the come from? In Tolkien's work, it has always been The Battle of Five Armies. It seems that, as in the film content, Jackson has to add his unnecessary bit of festooning to make the work more his own, to mark his territory.

Next, the trailer seems to be all snippets of action sequences. Totally understandable, as it has to grab the attention of movie-goers, but where are the dramatic emotional accents that (surely, hopefully) must be there? Is it all sound and fury? This is, however, only a short teaser trailer; perhaps there was no room, just yet, for these.

All of this action is set to Pippin's song from The Return of the King. I get that it sets the mood for the desperate, poignant feel of an almost hopeless final battle. It is a call back to everyone who remembers the success of Jackson's previous journey in Middle Earth. One can almost hear his plaintive voice: "We've had some good times, haven't we? Will you follow me, one last time?"

The poster touts this as "The Defining Chapter" of the Hobbit movie trilogy. I'm sure they mean that not only is it the last bit that pulls the story together, but that also it is the hinge that leads into "The Lord of the Rings" movies. But in that line I hear some special pleading. The first two films have not been as bull-dozingly popular as might have been hoped. We have endured wizard-sledding and giant-gold-dwarf-statue-smelting. But this chapter will make it all worthwhile, fellas! You'll see!

I certainly hope that Jackson can pull out this cellphone he's dropped among the turds, wipe it off, and salvage some of the quality of the sterling work he's done before with Tolkien. If not: "Give me your third terrible gift and be on your way!"

1 comment:

AlanDP said...

Please, please, PLEASE someone convince Guillermo Del Toro to do the Silmarillion!