The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

The culmination of this 11-hour film is the glorious four hours that is The Return of the King. There is so much to say about this film, but I will restrain myself to a couple points.

Emotion is what makes this film work: The fear in each hobbit's eyes. They way Gimli trembles and brushes off fear at the same time. Eowyn's rejection and loss and love. Faramir's rejection and loss and love. Denethor's madness. Gollum's frustration. Gandalf's realization that all has been lost. Theoden's achievement on the battlefield and especially his rowsing speech to the Riders of Rohan. On and on. Really, credit needs to be given to all of the actors who truly made this film one of the heart.

On that same theme, I think the film could have reached an even higher height if the extras had been trained actors. Too often it was obvious what directions had been given to them. And another loss, and this goes for all three films, is how much of the fighting is unrealistic.

Now for a few of my favorite scenes.

Gandalf telling soldiers in Minas Tirith "You are soldiers of Gondor. Whatever comes through those gates, you will stand your ground." Then massive armored trolls bust through the gate with huge weapons that just sweep the soldiers as though they are straw. The look of shock in Gandalf's eyes tells so much.

Searching for the survivors and injured on Pelennor Fields really shows just a taste of what the battle did. In too many war movies, this part is skipped or glossed over. Pippin searches for Merry. Eomer searches for Eowyn and Thoeden. They know the losses were great.

Though there are so many more I could mention, Sam's realization of what he has sacrificed in his quest on Mount Doom is so heartwrenching.

The CG effects in this film far surpass the award winning ones in the previous two films. The battle sequences, Shelob and Gollum are superb.

The real magic of The Lord of the Rings is how it fleshes out timeless themes of humanity: identity, loss, fear, sacrifice, brotherhood, legacy, the battle against what is evil, miracles, transformation, and the spirit of adventure.

I could watch the entire trilogy right now. Again. And again. Bravo!

Official Site | IMDB


Marta said...

I have to agree with you. I have read the books a few times each and I love the fact that they stayed so close to the actual plot. The actors did an amazing job. I also give it 10.

Marta said...

I forgot to mention that the Lord of the rings introduced me to the actor Viggo Mortensen. Because I thought he did such a good job, I decided to see his next movie Hidalgo. It was very good. If you get a chance to see it I recommend it. But then again you might not like it :). We all have different likes and dislikes.