Viggo Mortensen says Peter Jackson swapped subtlety for CGI on LOTR

"Whatever was subtle, gradually got lost"

Viggo Mortensen has been reflecting on the Lord Of The Rings saga in a new interview with The Telegraph, and has been fairly critical of Peter Jackson's handling of the trilogy.

Mortensen's view is that the first film was the best of the series, as it was less preoccupied with CGI and grandiose battle sequences than the next two instalments…

"The first script was better organised," says Mortensen. "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," continues Mortensen, "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."

Fairly scathing stuff, then. In the meantime, those who agree with Mortensen's views can enjoy him in something altogether more lo-fi, with The Two Faces Of Januaryopening in cinemas today.

Do you agree with Mortensen? Tell us, below!


    • QuietLife

      May 16th 2014, 8:02

      I'd have to agree with him. I think certainly in the original trilogy, the heart that fuelled the first movie was certainly sacrificed for action. At the time of watching, I didn't really notice but having recently re-watched them, FOTR certainly stands out on another level.

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    • garyu2

      May 16th 2014, 8:48

      He forgot to mention that ALL of these movies are over-long, boring drivel.

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    • JoseyWales

      May 16th 2014, 9:02

      I agree with him. Though I enjoyed the second two LOTR films, they didn't have the heart that the first one had. The storytelling was slightly set aside to make room for CGI driven scenes. Unfortunately, these latter films won't age as well as the first film. As for The Hobbit, apart from the fact it's been stuffed with the unnecessary, all aspects of storytelling have been sacrificed to make room for action, action and more action. My kids love it. I, however, don't.

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    • apo1978

      May 16th 2014, 10:40

      @garyu2 - we have different tastes dude. Best trilogy of all time, in my opinion.

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    • Mattsimus

      May 16th 2014, 11:41

      Definitely the best movie trilogy of all time and no other saga or trilogy has been able to touch it since! And the critique of Viggos opinions are I would say fairly accurate as the first has always been my fave and two towers for some reason my least fave, that said Viggos comments have been well documented and has stated for a long time that he would have prefered it with less CGI and more focus on story! Either way I loved them.

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    • Ali1748

      May 16th 2014, 12:26

      Well this pretty much rules Vigo out of playing Dr Strange.

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    • SiMan

      May 16th 2014, 13:10

      @Ali1748, not necessarily - if someone like Del Toro was given the gig with his more practical effects-driven ideas i think Viggo would suit it rather well.

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    • jamesbrown

      May 16th 2014, 14:17

      Disagree completely the other two have those big action sequences as part of the book and cant be done properly without special effects. Yes the action sequences are less in the book but thats because its a book and so when transferred to film takes much longer to develop a battle and will need CGI to be done as well as it was. I kind of agree with The Hobbit with having too much CGI but the acting is still good and the story so far has been told just as well as LOTR.

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    • Mck123

      May 16th 2014, 14:25

      Viggo you have summed it up very neatly. Have a lot of time for him especially after his work with David Cronenberg and it is refreshing to see such honesty. Really like all the LOTR films but the CGI just got too much in the final film, and the less said about The Hobbit the better. It is a shame Del Toro could not make The Hobbit as a two parter could have been a classic!

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    • Themouras

      May 16th 2014, 18:11

      Totally agree with him. Even the picture quality is better in the first film. It looks and feels real. That said, second-best trilogy of all time!

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    • michaeljohnson

      May 16th 2014, 19:28

      Completely disagree as the story demanded huge battles later in the book. He's also forgetting that LoTR was meant to be virtually impossible the turn into a film, so should give credit where it is due instead of moaning about it. If he does not like it then he should raise the cash and make his own version. Also, it is rich from someone who had not read the book before filming and still not sure he has. Stick to your lo-fi films that nobody will watch and let the rest of us enjoy the big CGI blockbusters

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    • dex2010

      May 18th 2014, 15:47

      @siman Ha Del Toro Practical effects- Eh Pacific Rim not very practical!

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