The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) 4.86/5 (2)


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Rating: The Good – 70.3
Genre: Fantasy
Duration: 201mins
Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen

Easily the weakest of Peter Jackson’s trilogy and by far the most over-rated, The Return of the King suffers from a tediously long ending, some rushed exposition regarding Aragorn’s decision to claim his birth-right, and Jackson’s decision to inlcude the undefeatable ghost army from the book which sucked the tension right out of the closing scenes of the central battle. Those three main problems aside this is a worthy climax to the great trilogy with all the characters remaining on form throughout. There are some stand-out sequences such as Gandolf shepherding the cavalry back to the White City, and that rousing speech from the great Bernard Hill’s “Theoden”. The subsequent battle for the White City is immense and the moment at which the Rohan smash through the Orc ranks will leave the hairs standing on the back of your neck. As with the first two films, The Return of the King is magnificently shot and the special effects are flawless which along with the pitch-perfect acting and tremendous story should ensure that this great trilogy will be enjoyed for years to come. Let’s just pray that Hollywood undergoes a serious culture change before some lazy executive decides to remake it.

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