Without Peter Jackson‘s Lord of the Rings trilogy, Viggo Mortensen wouldn’t be nearly as big a star as he is. But despite the success and fame he garnered because of the films, Mortensen still has some harsh words for Jackson. Harsh as they may be, the actor might be pretty spot-on.
So what did Viggo said that could rub some Jackson fans the wrong way?
Speaking the The Telegraph, Mortensen talked about the experience of making LOTR. Mortensen is obviously still very proud of the films and the experience and the friends he made while making it, but he feels that Jackson became a bit too reliant on special effects and that hampered the trilogy in the long run.
Here’s the main quote that’s ruffled some feathers:
“Also, 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. The second movie already started ballooning, for my taste, and then by the third one, there were a lot of special effects. 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.”
Mortensen then talks about Jackson’s post-LOTR career and how he and many others expected to see Jackson return to smaller films, like his drama Heavenly Creatures. As we all know, Jackson most definitely did not return to tighter budgets and more intimate stories.
“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. And he’s happy, I think…”
Rough words perhaps but you can tell they are coming from a place of love. Viggo still holds Jackson (and all his LOTR chums) very near and dear to his heart. This is tough love, the type you give to a close friend or family member.
While I agree that Jackson has become to reliant on CGI, I can’t say I agree with Mortensen in regards to Lord of the Rings. Yes, the trilogy became progressively bigger and louder and SFX-heavy but that’s what the story called for. Of course Fellowship of the Ring was a smaller film, it was the beginning of Tolkien’s epic story. As the tale went on, things became bigger and the stakes were raised and the scope was expanded. I think it only makes sense that the films featured more CGI as they went on. I also don’t think it hurt the story in the slightest.
That being said, the films following LOTR have lost some of that magic while gaining only more special effects. Jackson’s films aren’t as strong as they used to be but this isn’t like the Star Wars prequels, the man still makes a rip-roaring good time. However, King Kong and especially The Hobbit haven’t hit the emotional highs of LOTR but have doubled down on the computer creations. Mortensen has a point: Jackson does need to reel in the CGI a little. I really want that. I hope Peter Jackson wants it too.
Read the full interview with Mortensen over at The Telegraph.