The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

Movie Reviews | Dec 17th, 2003

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Starring Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Billy Boyd, Miranda Otto, Dominic Monaghan, David Wenham, Orlando Bloom, John Rhys-Davies, Liv Tyler, Karl Urban, Bernard Hill, Cate Blanchett, Bruce Hopkins, John Noble, Hugo Weaving
Written By: J.R.R. Tolkien (story), Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson
Directed By: Peter Jackson

GREATEST. TRILOGY. EVER. My Xmas came early this year and the gift was Lord of the Rings. I have been looking forward to Return of the King since Fellowship of the Ring came out. It was my favorite book because there was so much stuff in the book that rocked, and now that all that cool stuff has been fulfilled in the movie.

I was kind of disappointed when I found out that Saruman wasn’t going to be in this movie. I think they should have put his “scene” at the end of Two Towers like they originally planned and that would have ended his storyline. But what they did with the movie worked well. I’d actually prefer Saruman back into the movie instead of the Smegol-Deagol flashback that opens up the movie. It’s good that’s it there, but I think it was kind of weak to have that open up the movie. If it sounds like I have a lot of negatives, there’s very little, and if anything very minor. I saw the movie 3 times already and plan on seeing it more in the theaters soon. Probable continue the tradition and see a movie on Xmas.

I have many many favorite scenes in this movie (I list most of them down below), and the acting is done real well. I think Sean Astin deserves an Oscar for this movie right now! His performance made me cry. Yeah I’m a man, I can admit it. I actually was teary eye from the Ride of Rohirrim til the very end. That’s like the last 2 hours! Haha, I’m such a wimp. Anyway, Besides Sean Astin, Billy Boyd, Ian Mckellen, and Bernard Hill were all incredible. Billy Boyd had a lot of scenes this movie with Gandalf and they had terrific chemistry together. Billy Boyd also gets to shine a little bit with his singing, and that was a beautiful scene involving Faramir’s suicide mission with Pippin singing to Denethor . Miranda Otto, Dominic Monaghan, Viggo Mortensen, Andy Serkis were also brilliant as well. I can’t see anyone else playing Aragorn besides Viggo. He’s just..Aragorn. Gollum looks even better than he did in TTT, and that’s saying a lot because Gollum was nearly flawless in The Two Towers. The one scene that you can clearly see Andy Serkis’ facial expressions is in the scene when Sam catches him talking about Sam and Frodo in the puddle. Bernard Hill (Theoden) just seems so effortless at what he does, he’s such a great actor and puts everything into it. The only ones that didn’t get a lot of screen time this movie was Legolas, Gimli, and Eomer.

There’s always the extended edition! I could go on and on about the acting and I’m sure the Academy won’t nominate any of them because there’s so many cast members to chose from. It’s like they cancel themselves out. They should almost have an ensemble cast award at the Oscars like they do at other Award shows. I think this one was probably the hardest to edit. The last movie of a trilogy, and to make it flow but to make it feel like it belonged with the previous 2 movies is a hard task. I kind of felt they should have included some things that were cut out and omit other things but I guess Peter Jackson felt they weren’t necessary to the story. I would have liked to see in the theatrical version: Saruman & Wormtongue, The Mouth of Sauron, the House of the Healing, Witch King vs. Gandalf, Eomer getting crowned King, more scenes with Legolas and Gimli. Like I keep saying, Ext. Edition ha. That’s my nit picking and I know people who are stupid book purists and think everything needs to be included in the movie and I hate people like that (*cough* Paul *cough*). Why can’t you let go of the book for a change and just watch the movie for what it is, and not what you know of it. I think everyone will bitch and complain about the the multiple endings but I thought they were shorter than what everyone else was complaining about.

I look at it like this, PJ had to sum up 3 movies and he did it well. It could have been longer and answered more questions and I still wouldn’t complain. I’m sure the ending will be twice as long in the extended edition too. I would have cut out the 30 seconds stares of Elijah Wood’s eyes to the other hobbits though and the long good-byes and edited that out to make it move quicker. But then it would have felt rushed so I’m 50/50 on that scene. Hmm, what else did I forget to talk about. Man I suck at reviewing haha. The CGI felt a little weaker in some spots. Peter Jackson says that movies don’t have a big budget or they just run out of time. I think the later half is what happened with them on this movie.

The graphics looked weird in some scenes like the hobbits on horses, Legolas on the Mumakil but the CGI looked incredible for the overall Minas Tirith battles, Shelob, the eagles, and of course Gollum. More postives than negatives when it’s concerning the graphics of the movie. Just like the previous LOTR scores, Howard Shore’s music is amazing in the movie. It really moves you, it’s probably why I had tears in my eyes for certain scenes that didn’t really need crying for. I loved the instrumental parts to “Into The West,” that’s where Sam picks up Frodo and carries him to Mt. Doom. The song is emotional enough when Annie Lennox is singing it, I get even more vaclempt when it’s instrumental. I think James Galway’s flute playing adds so much to the score, especially the “Grey Havens” track.

It’s kind of a shame that Howard Shore won’t win an Oscar for this because they have a new rule for sequels, that they can’t be nominated, I think. Even if this movie doesn’t win any awards, this will be hailed the best trilogy ever and will be watched over and over again. It won’t be forgotten and it will raise the bar for other movies from now on. Now that this is over, there’s 3 things to look forward in the future. The extended edition of this movie that’s gonna be over 4 hours long, the 9 disc set of the LOTR score by Howard Shore and the Hobbit prequel if it ever gets made. My fingers are crossed.

Favorite Scenes: (I list most of them down below), and the acting is done real well. I think Sean Astin deserves an Oscar for this movie right now! His performance made me cry. Yeah I’m a man, I can admit it. I actually was teary eye from the Ride of Rohir
Rating: Rated
Running Time: 201 minutes
Overall Rating:


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