Old Rope has not seen this, the third instalment of Jackson Pollock’s adaptation of the Ted Hughes fantasy classic. But I am wearing a pair of Spanish Señor De Los Anillos pyjamas, which imbue me with a magical power to accurately predict the storyline.
The film picks up where the last one left off and the viewer, muttering a terse “oh, fuck…”, is reminded that this nonsense still has a long way to go before trudging over the finishing line. How many more hours must we sit through, crying of boredom till our sodden eyes rot in their sockets?
Back on screen, we are treated to a cautionary tale of how one little shit, way back in some sun-kissed fantasia past, really wanted some bling so bad he done kill his bezzie on a fishing trip. His crime of continually referring to himself in the third person like Rio Ferdinand, was so heinous that he was cursed to wither and corrode, till he looked like a strange mixture between the dirty old man with a comb-over and soiled trousers who used to hang around and offer you sweets at the school gate, a teenager, and an aging member of Status Quo. Serves the grotbag right. Does he want to grow up to be a professional footballer or something?
Fast forward to the present, but without mobiles, MTV or the internet and a fuckload more chainmail, i.e. some unspecified Ancient Times. Half the leprechaun’s have been busy getting tanked on ale and honking on their crack pipes, while the other half are up a mountain somewhere being followed by a walking bogey who talks to himself. The viewer should take heart for small mercies, since this introduction provides brief respite from what is to come.
The third and final part of this cinematic triptych takes the form of one prolonged interminable battle, presumably a stylistic homage by Pollock to the Fast Show’s famous epic fight scene, but with more swords and less purpose. It’s one endless déjà vu as a handful of orcs, played by football’s Carlos Tevez (for which he won an Oscar) are slain and slewed over and over again until everyone watching has forgotten why, where and what for.
A little known fact is that Tevez was only filmed in five different poses, then cutting-edge BBC Micro computers used by cutting-edge computer geeks in non-cutting-edge glasses were used to digitally photocopy and gaffer tape him onto the celluloid seven million billion times. As a result, the orcs all look like they are doing some sort of synchronised dance. But forever. And ever.
Whilst researching this review, Old Rope must have made some sort of egregious error and stumbled upon a director’s cut or deluxe edition. For it was only after aging by several years and growing a beard longer than that of Santa (now apparently some sort of bad-ass swordsman?) did the horrific realisation that this flick was over four hours long sink-in to a mind numbed by tedium.
There are human men everywhere. It’s as if audiences at the previous two films had been so turned off by the over-abundance of poetry spewing pixies, that the producers felt their plot should refocus on some Humanoids, to give Johnny Popcorn something to empathise with. Remembering that the prole scum stumping up to see this drivel like nothing more than some forelock-tugging monarchist propaganda they crammed in more kings and regents-turned-bad than you can shake a spear at.
Whilst the gnome, the pixie, Santa and the Humanoids are slashing and hacking in their endless dance of death, the other two leprechauns finally make it to the Argos Extra in Mordor and attempt to return the defective jewellery. After waiting in line with a load of goblins for two hours (shown in real time), our homoerotic heroes get to the front of the queue only to discover that they left the receipt at home. “You fucking thick bastard Sam!” spits Friedrick Bargains at his rotund chum, “What did I tell you? Argos has a strict returns policy!” There was nothing for it but to walk all the way home and do the whole cunting thing again.
I give this film a cumulative 8 wasted hours.