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

Posted: December 26, 2012 in Drama

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Smigol  (Andy Serkis) was a hobbit, fishing one day with his brother when he found Sauron’s ring at the bottom of a lake, he fought his brother and killed him to possess the ring.  The single-minded desire to possess the ring consumed him , and drove Smigol insane.  And now this insane creature is leading Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin to Mordor with a short-cut around the black gates and to Mount Doom.  What Smigol really wants to do is drive a wedge between Sam and Frodo and he begins to do just that on the way to Mordor.

One day, Pippen Took found a palantir from the bottom of a lake and brought it back to the surface.  This palantir saw into other people’s minds, like a crystal ball.  Saruman tried to read Pippen’s mind but with no success.  Gandalf (Ian McKellen) wants to enlist Denethor (John Noble) Stewart of Gondor  to light the beacons to call for the aid of Rohan, instead he sends his son Faromir (David Wenham), on a suicidal mission to Osgilliath, because Denathor is still mourning his son Baromir.  Faromir is almost killed but survives.  The city of Minas Tirith is besieged after the battle of Osgilliath, led by the witch king (Lawrence Makaore) supported by Oruks and Oruks on Nazgul.  The besieged Gondor finally aided by  Rohan, but on the eve of battle,  Aragorm (Viggo Mortensen) decides he needs reinforcements.  Armed with the newly forged sword of Elondil, given to him by Elrond (Hugo Weaving) Aragorm goes to the haunted White Mountains to look for the Dead Men of Dunharrow, an army of ghosts cursed by Isildur, until a descendant of Isildur came with a sword of Elondil to break the curse.  Aragorm is that descendant.

As they ascend to Mordor, Frodo, becomes more and more convinced by Gollum that Sam is out to take his ring.  Gollum blames Sam for eating the rest of the Elven bread, and frames Sam by sprinkling a few breadcrumbs on Sam. So  Frodo thinks to himself, If Sam can steal bread from Frodo, what else can he   steal?  The ring? Gollum’s plan works, Sam and Frodo are separated, and Frodo is led to a large cave where he is chased by a Shelob, or giant spider.  How does Frodo get out of this jam?  Do  Faromir, Aragorm, and the others battle The Oruks on Nazgul commanded by the witch kin, does the siege of Gondor ever end?  Does Frodo escape the Shelob and go to Mount Doom and destroy the one Ring?

I’m not ashamed to say I love this movie.  It has become one of my favorite movies of all time, and here’s why.  It kept at least two storylines going at once, Frodo’s Quest and the battles, and even did the backstory of Gollum/Smigol, with the utmost quality.  There was not only one battle, but two, and both were epic.  I must say that this was the best ending for any trilogy, since Return of The Jedi.  This may be the best ending I’ve seen for any trilogy.

The acting is top notch, I must say I grew to love the relationship between Frodo and Sam, it was like a buddy movie within an action adventure flick. Kudos  go to Elijah Wood and Sean Astin for building a believable friendship over three movies, and giving us two people to absolutely root for.  Andy Serkis made Gollum/Smigol and incredibly complex character, one who could be pitied and scorned at the same time.  He made that CGI character come to life, and nobody could have done Gollum like he did.  Ian McKellen brought his A game, as usual, and brought a sage wisdom to Gandalf.  Viggo Mortensen did an outstanding job as Aragorm, even though his British accent was a bit shaky.

The direction was superb, the action is brisk, the pacing is quick.  There was absolutely no lag time in this movie, and the scenes were picturesque, especially the city of Minas Tirith. Wow.

The Lord of The Rings, Return of The King.  The Return of great filmmaking.

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