The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
The Lord of the Rings – Return of the King (2003) – Originally written December 2003
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Well here we are, the final chapter in what is being referred to in some circles as the greatest trilogy of all time. Ultimately though, does “The Return Of The King” hold it’s ground against the other two? Truthfully, I’d say it’s ten times better.
I must confess before really considering this film, that when I think of the first two chapters, I find myself gritting my teeth together and wishing they’d go away. Don’t get me wrong, they’re good films which for the first time or two keep the audience gripped. The problem though with the first two is that they were so over publicised and so overly pushed that I’m just incredibly sick of them. Now, I know your probably sitting there and thinking “but surely the same can be said of chapter three?”, well at this moment in time, you’d be wrong. I remember going to see the second film at one of it’s first showings and coming out of it happy. I really enjoyed it. The problem was that whilst I did find it a breathtaking experience I found myself frustrated by talks of Oscars (neither of the first two films deserved anything other than technical awards) and of constant pushing to see it. In “The Return Of The King” however, whilst again leaving with a feeling of awe and satisfaction, I do confess I can hear Oscars for Best Film and Best Director in the background.
In this film, everything built up in the first and second films are concluded, often in the heat of battle and also often with a tear in the eye. The paths of all the characters are woven together in a Spiders Web which even Shelob the Spider would be proud of.
Moving away from plot (as I don’t want to ruin anything for people), what can be said about this film?
The special effects are absolutely beautiful, the makeup superb, the acting good (but possibly not quite Oscar winning), and everything else which is part of this film is by and large superb. I won’t deny that the beginning and ending do take what seems like forever, however both are necessary. It’s hard really to describe the good points of this film, but as far as I’m concerned, if something can’t be heavily analyzed, that’s a sign that there’s nothing wrong with it.
Having said all of the above, is there anything I really dislike about this film? Only two things really stand out to me in all honesty. Firstly, I can’t help but feel that by enlarging it by 20minutes and including Christopher Lee’s scenes, then it would add a bit more of a dimension to the conclusion regarding the ending of “The Two Towers”. His absence is noticeable and rather than just cutting it, the film feels as if he has died and they’ve looked for loop-holes to avoid featuring him. The second thing I hate about this film? Truthfully, it’s not as much this film as the Trilogy. Basically, I HATE Cate Blanchett’s character. Galadriel the Elven Queen is an incredibly irritating and infuriating woman. It feels at times in this film like herself & Liv Tyler’s Arwen have simply turned up and attempted to share the glory without actually doing anything. Add this to the fact that Blanchett’s voice seems almost satirical in how bad it is, and you’re left with a spine scrappingly frustrating character.
Ultimately though, I mustn’t complain. Some die hard fans have already began to complain about a few changes from the book plot, but I’m left with the naivety of life as I’ve not read them. This, sided with the fact that as with most males, I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for the whole knights and swords scenario, leaves me feeling a glow after watching this film. If someone complains about this movie, let them go ahead, but don’t listen to hard. If someone (including myself) complains about how over publicized these films have been, again let them moan, but ignore them. Finally, if someone would state in no uncertain terms that the third film in the trilogy isn’t the best, then leave them to it as simply put, they probably are lying and haven’t seen this film yet.
To conclude, I’m just going to say three words, See this movie!