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Movie Info

RATING:

PG-13

GENRE:

Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

STARRING:

Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, John Rhys-Davies, Liv Tyler, Andy Sirkis, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Viggo Mortensen

DIRECTOR:

Peter Jackson

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER:

Barrie Osborne

BASED ON NOVELS BY:

J.R.R. Tolkien

DISTRIBUTOR:

New Line Cinema

 

Please Note

In providing movie reviews on our site, CBN.com is not endorsing or recommending films we review. Our goal is to provide Christians with information about the latest movies, both the good and the bad, so that our readers may make an informed decision as to whether or not films are appropriate for them and their families.

MOVIE REVIEW

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

By Holly McClure
Guest Reviewer

CBN.com Special Notes: It took Jackson seven years to produce the three movies and a little over two years to film it. Every prop was created from scratch including the 1,600 pair of Hobbit feet that took hours to apply. Aside from incredible special effects, a thrilling story and amazing battle scenes there’s products galore for you to remember this movie by; puzzles, books, CD’s, a video game and even a monopoly game with collectors pieces. Tolkien's tale is a worldwide phenomenon; over 100 million people have read his books!

Plot: The Return of the King brings a return of the cast, with Aragorn (Mortensen) rising to his heritage and becoming what he was born to be. As Sauron's forces surround the capital of Gondor and the legions of darkness gather to defeat the race of men, Gandalf (McKellen) rallies Gondor's broken army and does his best to help them defend their city. Meanwhile, Rohan's King Theoden (Hill), unites his loyal warriors outside the city and leads them to battle alongside Aragorn (Mortensen), Gimli (Rhys-Davies) and Legolas (Bloom), who are vastly outnumbered by creatures of every shape and size. From the smallest Ork to the giant elephants carrying a small army on their backs, the battle is a spectacle unlike any war you’ve ever seen. While the battle keeps Sauron distracted, Frodo (Wood) and his faithful friend Samwise Gamgee (Astin), travel across enemy territory to cast the golden One Ring into the fires of Mount Doom. The closer Frodo gets, the heavier his burden becomes and the more Gollum tries to take it over. Across the plains at Endoras, Arwen (Tyler) has exchanged her mortality to be with Aragorn but she is slowly dying because her health is tied to the ring. It is only a matter of time before she succumbs to the dark power unless the man she loves, Aragorn, can save her.

Good: Peter Jackson, the “king of trilogies” delivers a royal reward that is triumphant in every way! With an amazing cast, incredible creatures, impressive sets, jaw dropping battles and realistic special effects - Jackson has raised the bar for audience’s expectations and has forever changed the way we view sequels - Tolkien himself would think it was magical! McKellen, Mortensen, Bloom, Rhys-Davies, Wood, Astin, Boyd, Hill, Monaghan and Otto; all deliver strong performances that create an emotional chord that keeps this dramatic movie interesting. In fact, it’s the human emotions; fear, despair, madness, sorrow, rage, greed, love and forgiveness, that allow audiences to identify with the characters. Themes of courage, commitment, determination, loyalty, friendship, bravery and passion for a cause, shows how even the least of us can change the world. And I’m not just talking about the Hobbits. When you see the small army of heroes going up against the vast legions of utter darkness, it is truly an incredible and overwhelming sight. The battle scenes are astounding, technically amazing and as realistic as a fantasy can get. Jackson’s brilliant team of technical experts has opened the door for more films like this to be made. In fact, Jackson went back to New Zealand this last summer to reshoot several scenes because he was able to improve on them. I think it’s safe to say that Jackson has earned a unique place in cinema history with a crowning achievement that will never be surpassed. The amazing battles will satisfy lovers of war stories, the passionate kiss between Aragorn and Arwen will satisfy the romantics and the loyalty to friends will inspire all. This third trilogy concludes the epic story of all the characters, their relationships and rivalries with a perfect and satisfying ending - especially for true fans of Tolkien.

Bad: If youre making a movie about the war against good and evil, you have to have creatures that embody that dark side. Jackson has created that level of darkness in his movies. The ugly, grotesque creatures are frightening in looks alone but even more so when they are in battle climbing over the walls, riding giant elephant-like beasts or swooping down on dragon like beasts the size of a 747 and grabbing soldiers off horses and city walls. Since war is going on throughout this movie, great numbers of men and creatures are stabbed and killed with swords. One man is burned alive on an alter of fire. A giant, grotesque spider spins her victims in a web so we see bodies hanging from her den. This is definitely a complicated story with several subplots and numerous characters to follow. That and the combination of numerous battle scenes with hideous creatures, makes this movie best for mature teens and adults to enjoy. If I was a child and saw this movie, I would have nightmares for weeks so parents may want to keep impressionable children at home.

Bottom line: Tolkien’s tale is a parable perfect for all generations and time. His rich symbolisms and metaphors are perhaps even more important and relevant today than when it was written. This final epic and body of work is Oscar worthy in every way and I only hope the academy recognizes that worth and value. There’s a reason why the first two are in the top ten box office films of all time - Oscar or no Oscar.


Watch for Holly McClure on The 700 Club Monday, Dec. 22. (This date subject to change, check your local listing.)

Visit Holly McClure's website at http://www.hollymcclure.com.

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