And finally, a wrap-up. The biggest epic trilogy of the decade has met its end. "The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King" finished it in a very dramatic yet powerful way. “The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King” firmed up the chain of stories from the first and the second film. All questions were answered, all confusions were paid off. It’s like fresh water after such a long thirst. Winning 11 Oscars from all the categories in which it was nominated for (including Best Picture) and a mega box office was of course a great achievement for the film itself, the trilogy, and—largely speaking—the genre it carried. Surprising.
Please don’t read this review if you have not watched “The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring” or “The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers”, because I won’t put any SPOILER signs before some correlating stories in this review. Frodo Baggins (played by Elijah Wood) and Sam Gamgee (played by Sean Astin) continued their journey to Mordor, with Gollum (voiced and modelled by Andy Serkis) as their guide, through a dark and scary path to destroy the One Ring of Dark Sauron. The true face of Gollum was finally revealed, and the One Ring Frodo brought were getting heavier and crueler that it triggered some emotional conflicts among them. In another place, Gandalf the White (played by Ian McKellen), Aragorn (played by Viggo Mortensen), Legolas the Elf (played by Orlando Bloom), Gimli the Dwarf (played by John Rhys-Davies), and the two remaining Hobbits—Meriadoc ‘Merry’ Brandybuck (played by Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin Took (played by Billy Boyd)—teaming up with the Rohan helped the Gondor to survive from the attack of Orcs.
"I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you." - Sam Gamgee
I got that 'wow' feeling after the re-watch. Just like when I watch it for the first time. "The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King" was full of beat, somehow depressing, but spirited. We will learn a lot of moral things from these seemingly chaotic plot. In the first and second film we had (fed) enough with new characters and locations—and weird names—and in "The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King", we won't take such more “burdens”. No more introductory rambles, there’s only a conclusion. It's a predictable ending, yet still surprising. Well, maybe it was built on some old thrilling formula, which—for example—was brought by the character Gollum or Arwen (and even some parts were illogical, unless you read the novels and watch some features and commentaries on the original DVDs), but still, some minor explosions were significant. Old trick, but great output.
To talk about "The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King" is to talk about the whole trilogy, and to appreciate this last film is to appreciate the three films altogether. The power of "The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King" was not only from its story but also the meaning of it. And if you ask me to choose only one—between J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of the novels, and Peter Jackson, the director and screenwriter—who should have more appreciation for this film, perhaps I will appreciate J.R.R. Tolkien more than Peter Jackson, although Jackson was still had my standing ovation, for Tolkien brought the perfect and complex story with deep thought and wisdom in its every edge. And Jackson absorbed all those materials, and brought to big screen beyond our imagination. We will learn many things from Frodo, Sam, Gandalf, Dark Sauron, Arwen, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, Eowyn (played by Miranda Otto), and preferably Denethor (played by John Noble) and his son Faramir (played by David Wenham). Each character had its own life story, each scene carried its own thought. It’s about revenge, love, friendship, loyalty, war, equality, greed, despair, and sacrifice. “The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King” melted it altogether after a long tiring journey.
Until this paragraph, you assume that I have quitted talking “The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King” and, instead, started talking larger about the trilogy. For it being the last chapter, I will preferably do it. “The Lord of The Rings” did it all: released each film annually, had big budget, won Oscars (and was alwasy nominated for Best Picture in three consecutive Academy Awards—and the last film won it!), became a mega box-office, had its own fan bases, and so on. Not every director could do it, and that’s why I so much appreciate Peter Jackson and all his production team (and J.R.R. Tolkien, surely). “The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King” wrapped these long adventure with a conclusion: it is not only an epic tale, but it also is a remarkably meaningful work of cinema.
▲ Great moral learning, a wonderful closing
▼ Old trick was predictable
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING | COUNTRY USA YEAR 2003 RATING Rated PG-13 for intense epic battle sequences and frightening images RUNTIME 251 min GENRE Action, Adventure, Fantasy CAST Viggo Mortensen, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis WRITER J.R.R. Tolkien (novel), Fran Walsh, Philipa Boyens, & Peter Jackson (screenplay) DIRECTOR Peter Jackson IMDB RATING 8.9/10 (Top 250 #9) METACRITIC 94/100 (Universal Acclaim) ROTTEN TOMATOES 94% (Certified Fresh) MORE INFO