Monday, August 16, 2010

LotR -- Return of the King -- 2004

Lord of the Rings
Return of the King

Rated: PG-13 for violence and frightening images
My Rating: 5 Stars

Elijah Wood
Sean Astin
Billy Boyd
Dominic Monaghan
Cate Blanchett
Ian McKellen
Viggo Mortensen
Bernard Hill
Miranda Otto
Andy Serkis
John Noble
Orlando Bloom
John Rhys-Davies
David Wenham
Hugo Weaving

“I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you.”

The triumphant finale of The Lord of the Rings.

After Saruman's defeat at Helm's Deep and the Ents' march against Isengard, Sauron wastes no time in sending his armies and wrath upon the last city of men who have not set their allegiance with him: Gondor.

Pippin looked into the Palantir and saw the coming doom. With this knowledge, Gandalf takes him and rides hard to Gondor in hopes of averting disaster. Here we see for the first time the magnificence of the White City, built into the mountain. Here we see Lord Denethor, father to Boromir and Faramir, whom we have come to respect. And with his first words, we feel his weakness... and madness.

Sam and Frodo are being led ever closer to their destination: the land of Mordor and Mount Doom. Where the One Ring was made, there only in it's fires can it be destroyed. But their companion, Gollum, is treacherous. Frodo is blinded by his burden but Sam suspects and it leads to an ever broadening rift in their friendship. Gollum looks on with glee and leads them on to their doom.

Those surviving from the battle of Helm's Deep gathered at the city of Rohan. There they wait for word after Pippin and Gandalf leave for Gondor. When the beacons were lit in a summons for aid, King Theoden gathered his men from all regions and with his army of 6000, answered the call. Together with Aragorn's army of the dead, they defeated Sauron and Gondor still stood.

But it is only one battle and there  must be another to end all. Until the ring is destroyed, Sauron will always gain power. Frodo passed from Gandalf's sight into the land of Mordor where Gandalf fears there is no hope for ever destroying the ring. Sauron would feel it calling to him and his eye would soon be upon them... unless something attracted his attention elsewhere. Aragorn, as heir to the throne of Gondor, leads an army against Mordor's very gates. There, they use a trick as old as time: diversion.

But Frodo and Sam are running out of strength as they battle weakness and pain and the Eye itself. Is there any hope? Can there be a happy ending after such darkness and evil? But as with life, what seems like the end is a beginning and when all hope is lost, it is the moment when Truth shows His hand.

1: The battle of Gondor with Rohan and the army of the dead. I love the comment about Pirate scum always being late.
2: The humor is wonderful, once again.
3: Aragorn and Arwen are together, at last.
4: I appreciate the fact that Eowyn and Faramir are going to be wed, as well.
5: How a woman killed Sauron's General. :-)
6: Eowyn riding into battle, taking Merry with her.
7: The Separate adventures of Merry and Pippin. They are amusing while apart... and amusing together.
8: I find it fascinating and horrifying that Gollum had to be the one to destroy The Ring.
9: Although there wasn't what I would consider a happy ending for Frodo, he was content with it. Yes, he was sad to leave The Shire and his loved ones, but he was ready to leave a world of pain and sorrow and struggle... it's almost like a Christian's perspective on death and eternal life.
10: I think my favorite scene is right after Aragorn charges the gates with his sword and guess who is right behind him, yelling their hearts out?

What I Didn't Like:
1:A couple of untied threads that I didn't understand until reading the books: In the movie, it is mentioned that Lord Denethor had foreseen the evil that was to come but they don't say how he had foreseen. In the books, it is explained that he had been using one of the nine lost seeing stones and Sauron had deceived him by letting him see only the defeats and horror.
But I think they did this purposely since they would have had to include more scenes with the Palantirs and, perhaps, explain as did the book, that Palatirs are not necessarily an evil. This may have offended many viewers.

2: In the books, the ending of Saruman and Wormtongue is shown. I think it would have added more to the movie if they had included this. However, I think they were running out of time. I would really like to watch the extended version of the movies.

Things to Remember:
1: The land of Mordor and everything that happens in it, is backwards.
2: Tolkien stated specifically in his books that the story was not allegorical and it was not to be taken so. With that in mind, you can embrace what you wish to and ignore the rest. Lol. Or you can do exactly as he wished the partakers of his story to do: enjoy it for what it is; nothing more, nothing less.
3: As dark as this movie may seem, there is more light.

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