The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (12A)

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Fantasy films

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Time Out says

The first thing we see is a maggot wriggling on the end of a hook, and behind it, the grinning face of Smeagol (Serkis). It's a typically incisive piece of picture-making and storytelling, taking us back before The Fellowship to a time of supposed innocence and the moment of corruption - the rediscovery of the ring on the river bed. What follows may be the longest climax in film history: more than three hours of mad kings, massing troops, battle cries and ballyhoo. In terms of spectacle, there's nothing like it. Jackson has weight of numbers on his side. But for the first time in this mammoth undertaking, the director seems overwhelmed by logistics - and if he isn't, we are. Return of the King is no less dynamic than the previous chapters, but too much of the dialogue sounds like an orientation exercise. Some story strands are crudely abbreviated; others fail to develop elements that were already well-established. Given the inordinate running time, it's hard to avoid the feeling that we've already been here, done this. As to how the trilogy's themes of leadership, self-sacrifice, loyalty and honour speak to our own troubling times, Tolkien's anti-fascist allegory doesn't allow for ambivalence or ambiguity.

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Matty D.

You know, I set in to write a whole long thing about everything I disagree with in this review, but frankly, either you wrote this review the way you did because you or someone you listen to told you that having a dissenting opinion on such a popular film would bring you attention (like saying The Godfather was one dimensional), in which case it doesn't do to debunk a false view, or you really think this, in which case I've met your ilk in every coffee shop within ten miles of my University, and you think think that something can't be great unless it involves some tragic anti-hero on a dark, unhappy, and unpleasant journey that uses vague and largely audience-invented metaphors to imply still vaguer themes about the "human condition". The Lord of the Rings isn't "artistic" enough for you. Its themes are the ultimate corruption caused by even the illusion of power, and how the only way to fight suffering is to put aside superficial differences such as race and ancient history in order to come together to achieve great things. If that doesn't "speak to our own troubling times" I don't know what does. It's one thing to not enjoy this, or any, movie because you (in this case) don't like violence, or don't enjoy tales of adventure, or don't enjoy Orlando Bloom's particular brand of acting; those are the types of opinions that everyone has. But to prevent yourself from enjoying a really masterfully constructed film based on this crap you made up to sound smart? That I just can't stand. It'd be like deciding you don't like Casablanca because you think that it's racist; you're only denying yourself some enjoyment in this short, unpredictable life, and replacing it with bitterness and misgivings. Oh, and also, I will never buy Time Out London or any of its affiliates, knowing that they publish and/or encourage this kind of drivel. If I were in the woods doing my business, and a copy of this journal was the only piece of paper in sight, I would wipe with pine cones. Hm, guess I did end up writing a whole long thing,

Matty D.

You know, I set in to write a whole long thing about everything I disagree with in this review, but frankly, either you wrote this review the way you did because you or someone you listen to told you that having a dissenting opinion on such a popular film would bring you attention (like saying The Godfather was one dimensional), in which case it doesn't do to debunk a false view, or you really think this, in which case I've met your ilk in every coffee shop within ten miles of my University, and you think think that something can't be great unless it involves some tragic anti-hero on a dark, unhappy, and unpleasant journey that uses vague and largely audience-invented metaphors to imply still vaguer themes about the "human condition". The Lord of the Rings isn't "artistic" enough for you. Its themes are the ultimate corruption caused by even the illusion of power, and how the only way to fight suffering is to put aside superficial differences such as race and ancient history in order to come together to achieve great things. If that doesn't "speak to our own troubling times" I don't know what does. It's one thing to not enjoy this, or any, movie because you (in this case) don't like violence, or don't enjoy tales of adventure, or don't enjoy Orlando Bloom's particular brand of acting; those are the types of opinions that everyone has. But to prevent yourself from enjoying a really masterfully constructed film based on this crap you made up to sound smart? That I just can't stand. It'd be like deciding you don't like Casablanca because you think that it's racist; you're only denying yourself some enjoyment in this short, unpredictable life, and replacing it with bitterness and misgivings. Oh, and also, I will never buy Time Out London or any of its affiliates, knowing that they publish and/or encourage this kind of drivel. If I were in the woods doing my business, and a copy of this journal was the only piece of paper in sight, I would wipe with pine cones. Hm, guess I did end up writing a whole long thing,

James

It's not an allegory for anything. You don't know much about Tolkien.

James

It's not an allegory for anything. You don't know much about Tolkien.

sakara

the worst of the three boring movies----this one even edits out christopher lee....at three hours, schlock film maker jackson couldnt fit in five minutes of the great christopher lee?!

Name

Everyone please excuse this critic. He's obviously a no-name trying to seek out attention by disagreeing with the masses. There's a reason why this film won 9 oscars including Best Picture

Name

Everyone please excuse this critic. He's obviously a no-name trying to seek out attention by disagreeing with the masses. There's a reason why this film won 9 oscars including Best Picture

Zoso4me

Wow....Its hard to believe that someone could rate this anything other than a 10. Yes Jackson did not follow the books exactly. What he did do is take an impossible task and make it real. If one were to watch the 6 hours of bonus "The making of" you will completely understand why he did what he did. Also you will see the amazing amount of work and detail that went into the movie. From the real swords and armor (all of it) to the imported fabric for the dresses. There has never been the amount of work put into a film to make it real. 7 years the cast spent together. No drama, NO pre-madonna's. Its only an american yuppy that thinks "The tree of life" is a master piece that thinks this film is anything other than an EPIC MATERPIECE! One is truly a sad pompus apartment deweller me thinks precious. These films are what ALL attemps will be judged for many years to come. Take one look and the "making of" and see Jacksons refusal to instantly use digital production for all impossible shots. Instead he use "Big-a-chures" lol. One more thing. The average Hollywood movie averages anywhere between 200 and 300 actual shots. ROTK.....wait for it...OVER 1400 SHOTS. Enough said

Zoso4me

Wow....Its hard to believe that someone could rate this anything other than a 10. Yes Jackson did not follow the books exactly. What he did do is take an impossible task and make it real. If one were to watch the 6 hours of bonus "The making of" you will completely understand why he did what he did. Also you will see the amazing amount of work and detail that went into the movie. From the real swords and armor (all of it) to the imported fabric for the dresses. There has never been the amount of work put into a film to make it real. 7 years the cast spent together. No drama, NO pre-madonna's. Its only an american yuppy that thinks "The tree of life" is a master piece that thinks this film is anything other than an EPIC MATERPIECE! One is truly a sad pompus apartment deweller me thinks precious. These films are what ALL attemps will be judged for many years to come. Take one look and the "making of" and see Jacksons refusal to instantly use digital production for all impossible shots. Instead he use "Big-a-chures" lol. One more thing. The average Hollywood movie averages anywhere between 200 and 300 actual shots. ROTK.....wait for it...OVER 1400 SHOTS. Enough said

Matt

I DISrespectfully disagree with this pessimistic, shallow attack on the GREATEST trilogy of our time. If u even read the books, elves are extremely dexterous and agile, while dwarves can (when they're in a merry mood) act carefree or hearty such as these "silly parts with Gimli". It all pushes the storyline foreward and entraps audiences, even people like u who are too thick-skulled to admit it. Read the damn books! The movie contains almost all the factors, events, and characters (sadly not Tom Bombadil, or Gildor), which is near impossible to find in moviemaking these days. Jackson fully honored and respected almost all details of Tolkien's marvelous works! Here's a tip for ur next half-assed, depressing review: stop lounging back on ur couch smoking weed, watch the movie again (if u even saw it in the first place) and actually absorb the surreal grandeur of the film's shots and storytelling, compare it to the other shitty films that u gave a good review, and then get ur damn facts trait!!! If u atually take this to heart, u will actually find that you too will have become bewitched by these masterpieces of film!!!!

Matt

I DISrespectfully disagree with this pessimistic, shallow attack on the GREATEST trilogy of our time. If u even read the books, elves are extremely dexterous and agile, while dwarves can (when they're in a merry mood) act carefree or hearty such as these "silly parts with Gimli". It all pushes the storyline foreward and entraps audiences, even people like u who are too thick-skulled to admit it. Read the damn books! The movie contains almost all the factors, events, and characters (sadly not Tom Bombadil, or Gildor), which is near impossible to find in moviemaking these days. Jackson fully honored and respected almost all details of Tolkien's marvelous works! Here's a tip for ur next half-assed, depressing review: stop lounging back on ur couch smoking weed, watch the movie again (if u even saw it in the first place) and actually absorb the surreal grandeur of the film's shots and storytelling, compare it to the other shitty films that u gave a good review, and then get ur damn facts trait!!! If u atually take this to heart, u will actually find that you too will have become bewitched by these masterpieces of film!!!!

Clancy6969

I agree, the whole series started going downhill after the first movie, silly scenes like Legolas snowboarding down some stairs on a shield, and Gimli's many silly scenes, and pretty much the entire Rohan storyline was frankly quite badly done. Non actors, many pregnant pauses and pacing issues, the whole Rohan thing was just slapped together it seemed. All in all it did not come off as a timeless and epic trilogy, though it had it's moments.

Zac

sorry, I meant "those who watched the film hadn't read the books."

Zac

sorry, I meant "those who watched the film hadn't read the books."

Zac

I like how people who agree with this reviewer assume that those of us who watched the film haven't seen the movie. I, for one, have watched the movies AND read the books, and while the books are better, the films are fantastic in their own right. I think Jackson did the best job possible considering the task that was ahead of him.

Zac

I like how people who agree with this reviewer assume that those of us who watched the film haven't seen the movie. I, for one, have watched the movies AND read the books, and while the books are better, the films are fantastic in their own right. I think Jackson did the best job possible considering the task that was ahead of him.

Neil

Well this was the 4th time i'd probably watched ROTK all the way through (including the Extended versions).. and I can honestly say the theatrical version just doesn't stand up against the Extended version. So much is missing that viewing the Theatrical is a dissapointment. Regardless, ROTK is definitely the weak point in the trilogy, when you look beyond the "spectacle".

shayz

wtf are you on about...logistics wtf?? the lord of the rings is the most amzing film ever made. your review seems to focus on the negatives of the movie and no substantial positives even though i can think of dozens.

shayz

wtf are you on about...logistics wtf?? the lord of the rings is the most amzing film ever made. your review seems to focus on the negatives of the movie and no substantial positives even though i can think of dozens.

jonas

My God-you really seem to hate this movie-if you were going to hate it so much-why did you even watch it?-whatever it is the acting is top notch-and the direction- need i say more?-i hate reviewers like you who go to a movie just so that you can bash it down with some psycho babble about logistics.

jonas

My God-you really seem to hate this movie-if you were going to hate it so much-why did you even watch it?-whatever it is the acting is top notch-and the direction- need i say more?-i hate reviewers like you who go to a movie just so that you can bash it down with some psycho babble about logistics.

David

As for me, I understood all the big words, and still disagreed. Return of the King is the peak of excellence for all involved, from director to composer to actors. Yes, Tolkien's original story was unyeilding with its defined lines of good and evil, but it can be forgiven in that it is by now an old fashioned fairy tale, created at a time when people wanted to see good triumph against evil. As for the film itself, it's no less than amazing. Not perfect, but as near to perfect as an action film will ever get.

David

As for me, I understood all the big words, and still disagreed. Return of the King is the peak of excellence for all involved, from director to composer to actors. Yes, Tolkien's original story was unyeilding with its defined lines of good and evil, but it can be forgiven in that it is by now an old fashioned fairy tale, created at a time when people wanted to see good triumph against evil. As for the film itself, it's no less than amazing. Not perfect, but as near to perfect as an action film will ever get.

daniella

The Lord of the Rings Movies are the greatest movies I have ever seen! They are AMAZING!

daniella

The Lord of the Rings Movies are the greatest movies I have ever seen! They are AMAZING!

Zachary

If one looks at the movie on its own, it was a great movie, especially the extended edition. Having read the whole mythology (The Silmarillion, the Children of Hurin, the Hobbit and LOTR), there are some interesting liberties, however, that Jackson takes that, I think, diverge far too much from the true story. I have to rate the movie at a 4 for that reason. It is a great film, but read the books. They're far better.

tom

The lord of the rings is a great masterpiece, no matter which way you view it as a book or as a movie. Peter Jackson delivered the main plot missing out the scouring of the shire and other events, which would have made the movie even better (but also longer). Best movie ever.

tom

The lord of the rings is a great masterpiece, no matter which way you view it as a book or as a movie. Peter Jackson delivered the main plot missing out the scouring of the shire and other events, which would have made the movie even better (but also longer). Best movie ever.

Andrew

I agree entirely with the reviewer, except about the allegory, which Tolkien said it wasn't. Jackson reduced a fantastic story to a series of battle scenes between comic book baddies and tackily clad goodies (the Gondor knights' armours and Isildur's sord were particularly disappointing), preceded by rousing speeches or other displays of manly bravery and camaraderie. It was all so ineffectual and melodramatic. Especially jarring were all the endless teary-eyed scenes with Frodo. In short, I'm really sorry for all you people who missed the visceral experience of reading the book without knowing where the story was going.

Adam

you sir are a complete failure. A masterpice has been layed before you and you shame it with nonsensical words of poor judgement.

Adam

you sir are a complete failure. A masterpice has been layed before you and you shame it with nonsensical words of poor judgement.

Niall Cunniffe

We come to it at last. The first two were brilliant and set up for this- THE GREATEST MASTERPIECE OF OUR TIME! Stunning battles, breathtaking drame filled with a tense oncoming fear, Mordor! Its a tale of war, love, loss and freindship and to never give up. It is really, really and truly, BRILLIANT!

Niall Cunniffe

We come to it at last. The first two were brilliant and set up for this- THE GREATEST MASTERPIECE OF OUR TIME! Stunning battles, breathtaking drame filled with a tense oncoming fear, Mordor! Its a tale of war, love, loss and freindship and to never give up. It is really, really and truly, BRILLIANT!

Brandon

wtf... do you even know what your talking about here buddy. Overwhelmed by logistics..., im sorry but all of your arguments show that you dont know what a masterpiece is when you see one.

Brandon

wtf... do you even know what your talking about here buddy. Overwhelmed by logistics..., im sorry but all of your arguments show that you dont know what a masterpiece is when you see one.

Myrthmor

You looked at all the wrong parts of the movie, and misinterpreted the delivery of the dialogue. That English actor, theatrical style isn't dull, it's masterful. It's just not yuppie like so many American action flicks.

Myrthmor

You looked at all the wrong parts of the movie, and misinterpreted the delivery of the dialogue. That English actor, theatrical style isn't dull, it's masterful. It's just not yuppie like so many American action flicks.

action jackson

Now this film is one of, what ill have to say the best film ever made. It is the final film of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the best. The Storyline and battlescenes have to be the best i have seen in any film. It is a great film, on the edge of your seat film.

action jackson

Now this film is one of, what ill have to say the best film ever made. It is the final film of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the best. The Storyline and battlescenes have to be the best i have seen in any film. It is a great film, on the edge of your seat film.