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

lord_of_the_rings_the_return_of_the_king

Frodo reaches Mordor where Gollum reveals his true colours while Gandalf and the fellowship prepare to defend Gondor against the full might of Sauron’s armies.

All of the same strengths and weaknesses of the previous films are still in evidence for the final part of the trilogy. The hobbits are still mildly annoying – although at least in this instalment they finally grow a pair – the elves seem to serve no purpose other than to slow the film to a snail’s pace and the narrative logic is once again questionable – namely flights of giant eagles and ghostly armies with a debt to the king of Gondor that appear at the nick of time that were never previously mentioned. The villain also garners too little screen time and is dispensed with far too easily. On the other hand, battle sequences on a never seen before scale that are truly thrilling, particularly the section involving giant elephants that reminded me of living AT-AT walkers, and Faramir’s father brings a tragic pseudo-Shakespearian drama to the proceedings. It also has something the previous films could not; a satisfying conclusion to the story.

It does outstay it’s welcome for a good 20 minutes because 5 of the 6 – yes, six – epilogues are deeply unnecessary, but it’s a fine finale to a ground-breaking trilogy.

7.5/10

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