After spending more money than I care to think about on the movies and merchandise, as well as more time than I can count on reading the books, watching extended editions, and waiting in line for decent seats at midnight showings, the wait is finally over. With nearly every other person on the planet, I cheered, cried, and clapped my little Ringer heart out at Return of the King, director Peter Jackson’s third and final installment of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. In this film, the story continues to follow Frodo and Sam, led by the dualistic Gollum, as they brave the darkest dangers and consuming power of the ring while seeking to destroy it. Meanwhile, the remaining fellowship continues their individual quests leading up to the climactic final battle between good and evil, men and Mordor, in which even the hobbits take part. The story is breathtakingly rich and so emotionally charged that its ending almost exhausts you.
Return of the King is a visual masterpiece. The effects achieve such perfection that fans hardly realize that visual wizards digitally fashioned Gollum or the oliphants. Battle sequences are staggeringly epic, and display a fantastic combination of both masterful directing and proficient CGI.
Lord of the Rings has shown the most amazing ensemble cast ever captured on the big screen, and this final chapter solidifies all impressions of the actors’ skills. We can only hope the Academy gives proper accolades to the brilliant performances of Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Andy Serkis, and Ian McKellan.
Never before have films reached such incredible heights in adaptation, story telling, visuals, acting, directing and the overall power of film. Lord of the Rings makes cinematic history, and Peter Jackson raises the bar higher for all future filmmakers.
I have more love and passion for the Lord of the Rings universe, both in film and fiction, than any other story I have encountered in either realm. I can hardly contain in this article the absolute magnificence of the film, nor adequately describe the importance of what Peter Jackson achieves, both in cinematic scope as well as in a worthy adaptation of a beloved novel. Give the man his Oscars. He deserves them. A+