We drove more than 2 hours yesterday in late rush hour New York traffic to New Rochelle to watch The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Seeing the movie on an IMAX was definitely worth it.
As Teresa Nielsen Hayden writes, it is one “swell movie.” The battle scenes were better than Helm’s Deep. The Shelob felt very realistic and Eowyn kicked ass. There was no Saruman and no scouring of the Shire, but that is understandable given the length of the movie (3 hours 21 minutes). The movie does continue until almost the very end of the books which is something that I liked.
The trilogy together probably makes for one of the best movies of all time in my opinion. Among the three movies, I would rate ROTK as the best. I can’t wait to see the extra footage in the extended edition next year.
Now, it’s time for some small nitpicks.
- Arwen sucked. I couldn’t get her extended role in the movies as compared to the books. It probably was to give a romantic sidekick as well as motivation to take up royal heritage for Aragorn.
- The extended edition of The Two Towers explains the reasons Faramir took Frodo and Sam to Gondor, a deviation from the book. However, looking at the overall portrayal of Faramir in the movies, it does not have the same contrast from Boromir that the books had. I am still not sure if it was the best thing to do.
- Gimli is the comic relief for the movies. This diminishes his character somewhat. However, I do understand that a long movie like this one might need some laughs and Gimli seemed to be the most well-suited of the main characters.
My award for the most interesting character (in all kinds of ways) goes to Gollum/Smeagol, played by Andy Serkis. The graphics, the dialogues, etc. related to Gollum were all extremely fascinating.