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

december 20, 2003

I caught The Return of the King on opening night. Yes, I stood in line with Eileen and we waited to see the film. I got the tickets on Fandango so that we at least did not have to stand in line and wait to buy tickets. We were near the beginning of the line, but not at the head of the line like we were last year for the opening of Two Towers. Was the wait worth it? Yes, more than worth it. I have watched both the theatrical and extended versions of Fellowship of the Ring and Two Towers and was waiting eagerly for The Return of the King. What I was afraid of was a bad ending to a great series so far. Kind of like how Return of the Jedi was a suck-ass way to end the original Star Wars series, or how Revolutions got even worse than the Reloaded in the Matrix series. What if for some unexplainable reason, Peter Jackson lost his mind and screwed up The Return of the Kings? Fortunately, Jackson did not and The Return of the King (I'll refer to it as King from now on) is a grand finale of a trilogy that has entertained us for the last two years. It falls a tiny bit short of greatness, but it is a grand achievement The movie has a lot of spectacle in it, but never does the spectacle overrun the story or characters. The center piece battle sequence between good and evil at Minas Tirith does not disappoint, though I thought the battle sequence at Helm's Deep was much more visceral and exciting. The elephants were a sight to see, as is the sheer number of people and animals that are engaged in battle. None of it feels like the cheap battle scene on Naboo in the Star Wars Episode one. There the battle scene felt more like an arcade game, here it is gritty, visceral and almost real. Though, there was just too many things just

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