So Robert Rodi has apparently never read The Two Towers:
Peter Jackson triumphed with his earlier “Lord of the Rings” trilogy because that immediacy — that urgency — miraculously came through, being only occasionally undercut by modern ironic moments (as in Legolas and Gimli’s competition to see who can tally up the most kills in any given battle).
If this is Rodi’s best example of a “modern ironic moment” in Jackson’s movies, he should reconsider his entire argument. The competition between Gimli and Legolas is part of Tolkien’s original story. Jackson expanded on the competition and continued it in the third movie, but the friendly rivalry between the two was an important element in the characters’ relationship in the second book of the trilogy. Rodi wants to create the impression that the new adaptation of The Hobbit is infusing the story with too much “modern irony” (which seems to be the wrong word for what he’s objecting to), but he clearly isn’t familiar enough with Tolkien’s own work to recognize which parts of his stories were created by the author and which were added or modified by the screenwriters.