I was as skeptical as the next nerd when I first heard that Peter Jackson was expanding The Hobbit — a single book — into a trilogy. It’s a lot of embroidery for a story that, to be fair, wasn’t all that dense to begin with. Sure, Jackson had earned a lot of good will with the Lord of the Rings trilogy — probably the best fantasy films ever made — but three Hobbitses?
I put that skepticism aside: Peter Jackson makes a certain kind of pizza. And I love that kind of pizza. If he decides he wants to offer me three pizzas when I was only expecting one, who am I to complain? I love pizza.
And then I saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which was full of walking and singing and kitchen chores. Rocky beginning, but okay. Then came The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which was better, given all of the elves and arrows and orcs — even if I didn’t really want an hour-long finale that consisted of a 45-minute conversation with a Benedragon Cumbersmaug and dwarves surfing on rivers of gold.
Finally, we come to The Battle of the Five Armies. Which looks pretty fucking epic.
Watching this, it struck me that Peter Jackson has spent the better part of 15 years making his Tolkien sextology. Children born the day he started writing The Fellowship of the Ring can pretty much drive now.
No wonder he wants to go out with a bang.