Starring: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen
Director: Peter Jackson
Running Time: 178 mins
The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring is an American film, based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien, about a young hobbit, Frodo, who embarks on a journey to Mordor to destroy the all-powerful One Ring and with it, the dark lord Sauron, however he must face harsh challenges along the way.
Right, before you completely discount my opinion of this film, hear this: I don’t like the pure fantasy genre, that’s just not my own cup of tea, I haven’t read Tolkien’s books, so I’m just looking at this film as a film, and not an artistic or literary piece, and I can appreciate why this film is so highly regarded.
And one of the main reasons for how well-regarded it is is the quality of the special effects. For 2001, they’re pretty spectacular, and do make a big difference in making the setting of Middle-earth all the more convincing, along with some great directing and cinematography from Peter Jackson and his colleagues.
However, I can’t give the same compliments for how the story in this film is told. While it basically embodies the simple elements of a quest plot, its excessive length means that it’s one of the most tedious viewing experiences I’ve ever had to sit through.
One of the main problems is that it really fails to instil any sort of wonderment or awe towards the world which the characters inhabit. Again, that may be my lack of interest in fantasy talking, but even so, this film fails to create a fantastical or exciting atmosphere that may make the whole story a lot more entertaining to follow.
That’s mostly down to the darkness of the whole story, and while I assume that a darker atmosphere was quite prevalent in Tolkien’s books, it seems to go a little overboard in this film, and becomes a weird mix of dark fantasy and drama, which isn’t really entertaining to watch.
That’s the general gist of things. Now, I will admit that this film improved significantly as it went on, however the first 100 minutes (yes, that long) were seriously boring. Basically, the characters encounter very little peril, there are some dialogue scenes that last over 10 minutes, and the whole thing really feels like a tedious trudge across New Zealand.
Afterwards, you do get a good bit of excitement, as well as some more action which makes it a lot more dramatic. Prior to that, it was a very flat story, however as the period after kicks in, you get some big flashpoints that do spark some genuine excitement.
However, after that, the whole thing becomes very repetitive. The only real development in the story is one big twist, and the fact that the characters get gradually closer to Mordor. Apart from that, it’s battle, walking, battle, walking, battle, walking etc., and that becomes so tiring after three very long-winded hours, so that’s why it gets a 6.4 from me.