Two wasted hours about the author of The Two Towers: Tolkien (2019) Review

Tolkien Movie ReviewIn a cinema in the dark there sat a Craggus. Not a nasty, dirty, fleapit cinema, filled with the ends of hotdogs and a sticky floor, nor yet a dry, threadbare cinema with lumpy seats to sit down on or only stale popcorn to eat; it was a multiplex, and that means comfort.

What is a Craggus? I suppose the Craggus needs some description nowadays, since they have become rather shy of posting to their blog with any regularity. He was (and is) a movie-loving monster, about twice the age he thinks he is and taller than the tallest bearded Dwarf. The Craggus has a beard, although he illustrates himself with stubble and on this day he had chosen to see, with his twelve-year-old son, the motion picture “Tolkien”.

“Tolkien” has little or no magic about it, except the ordinary everyday magic which helps almost two hours disappear slowly and drearily when large stupid folk like the Craggus buy their tickets. It is inclined to be dull in the middle (and also the beginning and the end); dress in drab colours (chiefly tweeds and mud browns); wear out your patience as it regales you with the edited vignettes of J R R Tolkien’s early life through his fever dream flashbacks in the trenches of World War I, the scenes of which are surprisingly, jarringly graphic and provide no deep fruity laughs at all.

Anodyne, entitled and utterly uninsightful, an earnest performance by Nicholas Hoult and the occasional impressively Jacksonian visual flourish can’t save this from being an unexpectedly wasted journey to the cinema.