The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Director: Peter Jackson
Writer: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson
Based on: J. R. R. Tolkien‘s novel
Sequel to: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring; The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Cast: Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Andy Serkis, Sean Bean, Marton Csokas, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Craig Parker, Liv Tyler, Hugo Weaving, Bernard Hill, Miranda Otto, Karl Urban, David Wenham, John Noble
Seen on: 6.1.2022
Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) have not only to find their way into Mordor, but also to Mount Doom, unnoticed by Sauron, to destroy the One Ring. Meanwhile, Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) slowly claims his role as King and leads the human army into battle against Sauron to draw his gaze away from the hobbits and the ring. The time of decision draws near.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is my least favorite Lord of the Rings movie and probably the most boring of the three. But it is still a satisfying ending to a trilogy that I continue to love overall (much more than the books, probably).
Since I already mentioned that I’m not a fan of huge battle scenes when I wrote about The Two Towers, you can probably imagine that The Return of the King is not exactly to my liking as it feels like it’s about 90% battle, 5% endings and 5% other stuff. I also feel like the extended edition has little to add than just more battle, but to be honest, apart from the cinema, I have only seen the extended edition and I am not sure anymore which scenes were added and which are in the original cut, so I might well be wrong about that.
That you start feeling some lengths, especially when you watch all three movies back to back, is probably not surprising, but I thought that they’re concentrated pretty much in this last installment. But that is probably more due to my lack of appreciation for the battle scenes than anything else.
In any case, I still find it amusing how many endings this film has. I couldn’t even make a list of them if you’d ask me. Not that I would want to miss any of the endings, really – they give us the much needed character conclusions after all. And I was also surprised again by the ghost army – a part of the story I had completely forgotten about. I could barely remember that I had seen it before as the scenes unfolded in front of me, something that practically hadn’t happened in the other two films.
But that’s neither here nor there. The Return of the King has a big task in finishing this huge trilogy and it goes about it admirably, although it is less interested in the characters that carry the action than the action itself. There it gives us really awesome visuals again. The Mouth of Sauron is still an absolutely vivid image for me and always will be (I think he is only in the extended edition, if I’m not mistaken). And generally, I really wouldn’t want to miss this film. Least favorite of the trilogy is still a whole lot of favorite overall.
Summarizing: a really satisfying conclusion.