Viggo Mortensen Criticized Peter Jackson for Sacrificing Subtlety to CGI

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Unlike Peter Jackson‘s sprawling Lord of the Rings trilogy, which was almost universally beloved, reactions towards Jackson’s Hobbit films have been a mixed bag.

Jackson’s over-reliance in CGI over practical look of the original Lord of the Rings films not only have fans noticed.
In a recent interview with The Telegraph, LOTR star Viggo Mortensen criticized Jackson for being too obsessed with new technology after The Fellowship of the Ring:

“Mortensen thinks – rightly – that The Fellowship of the Ring turned out the best of the three, perhaps largely because it was shot in one go. “It was very confusing, we were going at such a pace, and they had so many units shooting, it was really insane. But it’s true that the first script was better organised,” he says. “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.”

The actor turned down returning as Aragorn a long time ago, but kept expecting director to return to his toned-down roots and was disappointed to see that it didn’t happen:

“I guess Peter became like Ridley Scott – this one-man industry now, with all these people depending on him,” Mortensen adds. “But you can make a choice, I think. I asked Ridley when I worked with him (on 1997’s GI Jane), ‘Why don’t you do another film like The Duellists [Scott’s 1977 debut, from a Joseph Conrad short story]?’ And Peter, 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. And he’s happy, I think…”

I enjoy when an actor speaks his mind instead of caring about political correctness and Mortensen went directly into my brain and pulled out the exact thing I was thinking.

Do you agree with him?

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens in theaters this December.

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY