"Where is a soul?"
"In the mind."
"Where is your soul?"
"I am the one asking the questions here."
I suspect that this will be for most viewers as it was for me — a very difficult film to sit through the first time.
But in the last 20 minutes, I finally began to get a sense of what the film was really about. Strangely enough, it was a strong and I'm tempted to say deliberate connection to…
What a pleasant surprise — a sequel that significantly improves the series. It feels like 90 minutes in spite of running past two hours. It contains nothing extraneous. It develops good characters without any clunky shifts from action to intimate moments. It doesn't look like it was filmed to be watched on iPhones. It enriches its timely themes in profound ways that should have a lasting influence on young viewers. Its final moment is spectacular. And it makes me eager for Part 3.
In other words, it's everything I suspect *won't* be saying about the big Peter Jackson flick next week.
I asked this movie to deliver one more tall glass of its delicate, miraculous potion. And the movie said, "As you wish."
By the way, next time you watch this, take note of the moment that Vizzini, Inigo, and Fezzig set sail with their captive princess. As soon as they're at sea and wind is filling the sails, look at Mandy Patinkin as he stands strong and holds the ropes. Just look at his posture. You are looking at total commitment from an actor.
I'm not the first person to say it, but it's true — this film, like the two before it, is designed to be seen a second time, when viewers will realize just how every fleeting moment either foretells upcoming events, sets up elaborate jokes, or reveals a punchline for a joke yet to be told. It's the fastest-moving, most confidently scripted and edited film I've seen this year. And the action scenes are dizzyingly joyous. When was the last time…