The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Sunday 16th May 20047:30 PM

This is a breathtaking film, and a most excellent finale to a breathtaking trilogy. It hath epic battles, orcs, magic, good vs evil, wizards, wraiths, hobits, giant elephant things; most everything.

We follow our much-maligned hero Frodo Baggins (Wood), accompanied by the faithful Sam (Astin), on the final part of his epic quest to delivereth the One Ring back into the fiery chasm from whence it came, deep inside Mount Doom. Meantime, Aragorn (Mortensen) must return to Minas Tirith and defendeth Gondor against the onslaught of the evil Sauron's armies in an epic last stand for men, the War of the Ring.

Here lies the great and fitting climax to the series, with Legolas (Bloom) and Gimli (Rhys-Davies) in fine comic form, Gandalf the White (McKellen) at his most formidable, and Gollum (Serkis) playing his part as the story roles unrelenting towards its dramatic conclusion.

The performances from all are first class, Serkis and Astin being worthy of special mention; the visuals are of course incredible, painting some simply amazing battles, landscapes and cities, and Howard Shore's music is quite beautiful and rousing by turns. And the ending leaves a poignant note hanging in the air, as we are reminded of the ultimate sacrifice made by the heroes of Middle Earth.

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"The battle for middle-earth is about to begin."

Saruman the wizard has now been defeated, but the war is not over. Saruman was merely a puppet of the Dark Lord Sauron. There still is only one true way to defeat Sauron, the Ring must be thrown into the fires of Mount Doom.

Gondor is underseige by the forces of Mordor and it is only a matter of time before the final assault on Minis Tirith, the capital city of Gondor. Theoden (Bernard Hill) of Rohan is reluctant to ride to Gondor's aid as Gondar did not ride to theirs. It is then Gandalf's (Ian McKellen) mission to persude the Steward of Gondar, Denethor (John Noble), to light the beacon that will reunite the two free kingdoms of man into battle. Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) is given the old reforged sword of Isildur by Elrond (Hugo Weaving) after persuasion from Arwen (Liv Tyler). With the company of Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies), Aragorn must ride through the Paths of the Dead in order to raise an army of the undead before he came claim the throne of Gondor. All this is pointless, however, if Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) fail to get past the trap that Gollum (Andy Serkis) has planned for them so he can take back his 'precious'.

Stunningly spectacular visuals and breath-taking audio will make your heart and mind follow the action unlike many other films. Every emotion thinkable is touched upon in this movie. All the cast play their roles superbly and it is this, along with a great story, that makes all the LOTR films a great success. Some of the story is changed for the readers of the book, yet those of you who haven't read the book need not worry as all the main content is still here. I was sort of hoping that an army of dwarves and elves would appear in the final battle since Peter Jackson was in the mood of making changes. I only really had two complaints after this film. Firstly, this was the last film and there was now nothing to look forwards to except the additional scenes on the DVD. Secondly, I couldn't feel my backside for a while after, but it was worth it. Enjoy!

With help from imdb.com

Rotten Tomatoes Score:

94%

Genre:

Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Director:

Peter Jackson

Writers:

Peter Jackson, Frances Walsh

Leads:

Noel Appleby, Sean Astin, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Bernard Hill, Ian Holm, Lawrence Makoare, Ian McKellen, Dominic Monaghan, Viggo Mortensen

Music:

Howard Shore

Length:

201 minutes

Year:

2003

Country:

USA / New Zealand

Language:

English, Quenya, Old English, Sindarin

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These pages copyright Union Films, 2001-2017. All views expressed in these pages are those of Union Films, and are not necessarily those of the University Of Southampton, or the Students' Union. All logos and trademarks are property of their respective organisations.

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