When Fellowship was released last year, I along with other fans were disappointed that certain plot lines of the book never made it to the big screen. These included Frodo moving out of Hobbiton, the interaction with Farmer Maggot, meeting Tom Bombadil and the capture on the Barrow Downs. The last scene I considered very important to the development of the story as it was the first true test Frodo was faced with, having to decide whether to fight in an attempt to save his friends or to flee.
Peter Jackson appologized for not being able to include these elements of the book due to the complexity and time constrains with having to fit this epic story into a three hour movie, blah, blah, blah. I grudgingly accepted this explaination as the reality of any print to film adaptation.
This illusion was shattered with the release of Two Towers when I realized the true reason Jackson did not have enough screen time to fit these elements into the movie was because of the extra crap he threw into the story which never existed outside of the mind of a second rate hack screen writer.
I may have the wrong idea, but I believe that a movie adapted from a book should follow the plot line of the book as much as humanly possible. Afterall, I am paying money to see J R R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. A story Tolkien spent 30+ years writing and which has been a best seller for 50 years. But Jackson decided to make it better. Oh, and the changes he made:
I thought of calling these spoilers but the story’s pretty much already ruined. Peter Jackson stuck it in the toilet. All I’m doing is pulling the plunger.
Flashbacks: Arwen’s back! Not in person, through flashbacks. Many flashbacks. More flashbacks than a Kung Fu marathon on TBS. Flashback: Arwen kissing Aragon. Flashback: Arwen talking to Elrond. Flashback: Arwen at the tomb of Aragon (okay, it’s a flash ahead). Why, there was even a flashback when Aragon was thrown off the cliff by a warg and left for dead by his companions during the refugee flight to Helm’s Deep. Don’t remember it in the book? Those pages fell out of my copy too.
The Wimp-ification of Middle-earth: Everyone the Fellowship runs into in Middle-Earth is a wimp. Remember in the book when Gandalf handed Theoden his sword and the old man jumped up like John Wayne on steroids ready to mow down anything in his path? (Orcs? Kill them all! Let Eru sort them out!) It doesn’t happen in the movie. First off, Theoden was a senile old man until Gandalf exorcised the spirit of Saruman out of his body. Then for pretty much the rest of the movie Theoden runs around pissing and moaning how bad the orcs are going to kill them. The day was saved none the less, when Aragon showed up (he was left for dead, remember?), then the elves came to the rescue, then Gandalf, then Eomer (who should have already been at Helm’s Deep). Right about then I was expecting to see Xena, Paul Hogan and the Easter Bunny to come rolling over the hill riding ostriches.
The Ents were just as bad. They didn’t even get involved in the war until Merry and Pippin tricked Treebeard into realizing Saruman was razing Fangorn like a bunch of chainsaw wielding Republicans through a wildlife preserve.
Faramir, while not a gut-less wonder, was not the noble leader in the book. He was a butt.
Over Pyscho-Analizing Everything: I swear, everyone in Middle-Earth is either a shrink or goes to one. Everyone is talking, reflecting, reaching for their inner child…”I feel your pain.” Half the time I felt I was watch Oprah running a support meeting for PMS. And if Frodo’s eyes roll back into his head one more time…
Little People Are So Gosh Darn Cute: Gimli is there solely for comic relief. How unobservant of Tolkien not to realize just how funny short people are. I mean with all the dwarf tossing jokes… For what they use Gimli for in this movie, they should have used a midget. “Hey, boss wait for me… de plane… de plane”.
And one word for Legolas.The way he rode that skateboard down the steps: “Dude, you rock!”
I just wish I could have sat where my brother’s girlfriend did. At least that way I could bang my head off the wall. Instead I sat between my brother (another big Tolkien fan who was gritting his teeth like he was chewing a big wad of aluminum foil) and by my son who kept asking stupid questions (“Dad, why is Frodo going to Gondor?” “I don’t know, Matthew. It’s not in the book.”
Unfortunately, I have already invested six hours of my life into this series and will suck it up next year for the final three hours. For now I can ignore it. But come around the end of November, I know I will have to prepare for more Arwen, dancing bears, or what ever Peter Jackson will be throwing at me. But not right now. THANK HEAVENS! NOT RIGHT NOW!