Orcs gettin’ shot
Drilled by elves right on the spot
Chasin’ dwarves without a thought
You know they’re never gettin’ caught.
Like a Shaq free throw shot
This hobbit flick is all for naught
Cuz the action’s overwrought
And it’s fraught with extra plot.
That’s how I imagine Will Smith might rap-review Peter Jackson’s second film in The Hobbit trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug, if rapping movie reviews was his thing, which it isn’t, and if he shared my cinematic sensibilities, which he probably doesn’t.
Overwrought. That’s the key word I keep coming back to. I could add a few more: ostentatious, histrionic, superfluous, but I don’t know what those words mean. Here’s one I like:
Splurgy. That’s a good word too. This film has a certain enthusiastic spendthriftiness to it. It’s like the working stiff who wins the office pool, and then rushes home and announces, “Gather up the kids, honey. We’re all going to Golden Corral tonight!”
I suppose this is the kind of thing that can happen when a director as imaginative and ambitious as Mr. Jackson gets too much of everything he wants. As in:
Too much creative control
Too much perceived demand for more Middle-Earth movies
Too much money gladly handed over, strings detached
Too much film stock, or hard drive capacity, or whatever medium movies are made with these days.
Yet it’s hard to fault Mr. Jackson entirely for cranking out an overwrought, bloated product. After all, could you blame the proverbial kid in the candy store for eating himself into a blimp if he was given the key to the store with the words, “We’ll see you, oh, I don’t know…Tell you what, why don’t you let us know when you’re ready to come out?”
The man’s only human, and self-restraint is not high on most humans’ list of strong points. Self-restraint is one of those things that sounds good in theory, but in practice, well, check back later. The sample size is too small.
So what do I mean by an overwrought film, exactly? Well the proof is in the pudding, and the pudding in The Desolation of Smaug is the action sequences. So let’s taste the pudding, shall we?