Jason Keil

Jason Keil is a writer whose work has been published in the Phoenix New Times, AZCentral.com, Phoenix Magazine, and OnMilwaukee.com. He also co-hosts the podcast What The Fork.

The Problem With Peter Jackson

Legolas jumps from brick to falling brick as he tries to cross a bridge collapsing under his feet. An exciting scene from The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies? More like director Peter Jackson showing off. As I viewed this computer generated stunt, I shook my head and laughed to myself. Jackson's justification to expand one book into three movies was ruined with one scene.

This tendency to show off all started when Orlando Bloom's elf character surfs down a staircase while dispensing with orcs with his archery set. (http://youtu.be/_DvBE7Vt7Vg) Then came his adaptation of The Lovely Bones. His depiction of Susie's version of Heaven is simply a way for his WETA Digital Workshop team to show off their talent, but in doing so Jackson distracts us from the more engaging story on Earth as her father, played by Mark Wahlberg in his best performance, tries to hunt down her killer. The result is a wildly uneven movie that had the potential of being his finest work.

Now that Jackson can safely leave the world of Middle Earth, he can focus on telling good stories in imaginative ways like he did with Forgotten Silver (a nice little film if you can track it down) and Heavenly Creatures. These films are what helped get Jackson the job of telling Tolkien's stories in the first place. Until then, I'm still chuckling.