I fear for the new Hobbit trilogy, the first installment of which is due to hit theaters in the middle of next month. Why, I hear you ask. Well, I was watching Peter Jackson's King Kong again recently and as the members of Tripod observe, it is tediously slow and overlong. The movie takes forever to get started, meanders a bit, then wanders some more, and then finally gets going. And even then it stalls with overly long and boring "action" sequences that drag on forever. Before Jackson's King Kong I would not have thought that a sequence involving a herd of stampeding Diplodocuses chased by Velociraptors would be dull, but Jackson made that scene play out for so long that it became an exercise in boredom. And who would have thought that a fight between a giant ape and three Tyrannosaurus Rex's could be so long and so very, very dull? From the bug fight to Kong's rampage through New York, every sequence simply took about three or four times as long as it should have.
The Hobbit is a fairly tightly written novel at 320 quick-paced pages. The story moves at a rapid clip, from Bilbo's recruitment, to the trolls, to the more or less friendly elves of Rivendell, to the Misty Mountains with its nefarious inhabitants, to Beorn, to Mirkwood and its spiders and less than friendly elves, to Laketown, the Lonely Mountain, and Smaug, and finally to the Battle of Five Armies. But Jackson has taken this straightforward story and bloated it up to three full-length movies. And that has me worried. How many extended sequences of tedium will be incorporated into the story? How much time will be dedicated to monotonous sequences of CGI dwarves fighting CGI trolls and goblins? How self-indulgently long will the sequences involving animated spiders and eagles be? And so on. Jackson has a track record of taking source material and padding it out until it becomes a beautiful, boring mess. I hope that doesn't happen with The Hobbit, but I fear that it will.
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