633. The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King (2003)

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7.6 Finally exciting!
  • Acting 7.5
  • Directing 7.5
  • Story 7.8
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen

Director: Peter Jackson

Running Time: 201 mins


The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King is an American film and the final instalment in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. As Frodo and Sam approach Mount Doom, Gandalf and Aragorn must act to divert the attention of the enemy from their quest to facilitate the destruction of the One Ring.

Well, I am amazed by how much of an improvement this film is in comparison to the first two. Where The Fellowship Of The Ring and The Two Towers were overly long, extremely slow and tiring and exceptionally tedious to sit through, this manages to have a great deal of excitement, action, emotion, speed and enjoyment, which completely changed the viewing experience for me.

One of the reasons it was so much more exciting was that I managed to grow to care for the characters. In the previous two films, it basically seemed like everyone of the main characters was invincible (especially seeing as they still had to complete the trilogy), so I was never really that scared for them at any point, coupled with the fact that they were never in such terrible danger as in this film.

Here, the challenges and perils they face are so much bigger and scarier, and the film constantly makes it feel like time is running out for all of the characters, so I began to feel genuinely worried that some people (who I didn’t dislike) would end up dead, adding a whole extra level of emotion that was totally absent in the first two films.

Also, in terms of the story, there’s actually some progress and inter-character tension. My frustration with the first two films is that, although Frodo and Sam got closer to Mount Doom, it didn’t seem like anything had really been achieved, and we were just waiting for this film to come along.

And it does come about that something actually happens in this film. In fact, a lot happens. It almost justifies the near four-hour runtime (although I’ll talk about that in a minute) because the whole story is hugely epic, exciting and entertaining to watch (the unexpected tension in the Frodo/Sam/Gollum story is finally interesting, unpredictable and thrilling).

Despite all the big excitement and new-found interest that I felt for this film, there were still a few big problems. Mainly, this comes to the battle sequences. While they’re initially cool to watch, they last for so long, and very little is actually achieved in them, causing me to quickly lose interest any time any action erupted.

However, I was still entertained from the beginning until the end. But that was one HUGE problem, this film refused to end. After the main story has finished and everything, there’s even a fade to black, and four more after that that suggest the end of the film, but there is a half an hour-long climax to this film that was totally tedious and unnecessary, but despite that, I was still surprisingly entertained by this film, so that’s why it gets a 7.6.

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About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com