The Return from the King

Well, this evening I managed to see the final film of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and I didn’t even get mugged or anything! I think this was partially due to the two big, burley security guards standing at the entrance.

Anyway, onto a review of the film…

Well, it is pretty close to the book, just a bit squashed up with a few dramatic additions which don’t grate too much. Oh, and they left out the battle of the Shire, which is a bit of a pity as it shows that the returning hobbits have grown up and become their own masters.

Also, I was pleased that the amount of Arwen romantic pap was kept to a minimum and hence closer to the original as well.

Some of the hobbit sequences were a bit under par, even more so than the first film.. In many of the longer shots they just didn’t look the right shape. This is probably due to the fact that the body doubles weren’t the same shape as smaller versions of the principle actors.

On the whole, though, a very good attempt at telling the story. On the whole, though, all three films don’t show the scale of the lands involved very well. It looked as though the black gates were at most a couple of miles from Mount Doom and that the Black Gate itself was a mere few miles from the white city. Anyone who has read the book will know that it took Frodo and Sam a goo long while to traverse the very great distance across the lands of Mordor. It also took them many weeks to travel down from the Black Gate to the crossing where they said their farewells to Faramir.

I’m not sure the contraction of Aragorn’s summoning of the ghost warriors with the alliance with the men of the hills to the south east of Gondor was totally wise. It made it look like the only way men could fight the black army and win was to use “magic” rather than it being the unity of all the men of the old kingdom which managed to defeat the orc hoards. OK, so it was more “gee-whizz” the way it was done, but it’s not quite the right message.

I hope that the extended edition will at least replace the iffy return to the Shire with one which includes the battle for the shire and the ultimate doom of Saruman.

As for the cinema, well, once it’s complete it should be a nice venue, with 12 screens. I think they need to fix two things with it, however. Firstly, the lights in the auditorium don’t dim enough so they light all the dark areas of the film, and secondly, the projectors seem to do a refocus at every new reel which can be dead annoying. Oh, and there’s only one men’s loo at the far end of one of the wings, yet there are three sets of women’s loos and three sets of disabled loos. It’s a long walk to find the mens’ from the middle screen.

1 thought on “The Return from the King

  1. I agree about the hobbits. Some of the ‘long shots’ (especially Bilbo and Frodo getting on to the boat at the end) were truly awful, pure 70s stuff, and bizarre when compared to marvels like gollum and the other cgi. And why was this so bad when so many other scenes having hobbits and men in the same shot were done so brilliantly?

    I’d forgotten all about the battle for the Shire. I’d have liked to have seen the conflict that Frodo et al had with those hobbit enemies of the Bagginses where they used their new confidence and ability to wipe the floor with the parochials.

    The undead army was too easy, too fast. And I agree that the distance between Minas Tirith and the black gate was made to seem like a trip to the local supermarket.

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