J.D. Lafrance
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King DVD Review

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

May 12, 2002

Director: Peter Jackson, ,
Starring: Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Ian McKellen, Sean Astin, John Rhys-Davies, Andy Serkis, Liv Tyler, Hugo Weaving, David Wenham, Dominic Monaghan, Noel Appleby, Alexandra Astin, David Aston, John Bach, Cate Blanchett, Sadwyn Brophy, Alistair Browning, Marton Csokas, Richard Edge, Jason Fitch, Bernard Hill, Ian Holm, Bruce Hopkins, Ian Hughes, Lawrence Makoare, Bret McKenzie, Sarah McLeod, Maisie McLeod-Riera, John Noble, Paul Norell, Miranda Otto, Bruce Phillips, Shane Rangi, Todd Rippon, Thomas Robins, ,

Rate The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King DVD Release:
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

DVD Review

J.D. Lafrance

Is there a film any more tedious than this one? Readers let me warn you, do not expect a wonderful, praising review of how marvellous and spectacular ‘The Return Of The King’ is, I do not use any phrases like, “this film is a masterpiece” or “Peter Jackson is God”, I think we’ve had enough of those. And for those of you thinking I’m probably a little too young to appreciate a good film, my fourteen-year-old brother watched it and loved it! Too bad I can’t say the same. And let me start by saying, “What the hell is Jackson doing!?” If JRR Tolkien were alive today, he would surely condemn you to the depths of Hell for manipulating his literary masterpiece in which he took years to create and just so happens to be Britain’s best loved book. The story ends with Saruman wreaking havoc in the Shire with a tiny army of Orcs, not Samwise Gamjee marrying another Halfling and bearing many children! Oh how suspenseful you’ve made it!

Ok, you’ve given us three movies, but do they all have to be over three hours long? And this film in particular, the time passes so much slower, with all that googly-eyed dialogue between Samwise and Frodo, what’s with that Jackson? I swear at one point I thought they were going to kiss, with all that non-sense about their friendship and such. And you would think that the full-scale wars and epic battles would make up for it, as they did in the second instalment of the trilogy, but I was gravely wrong. Three hundred foot elephants? Swarms of elderly green ghosts? Big dragons in the sky? It’s like something out of the ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ all thrown into a battlefield. What is in that little twisted mind of yours Jackson? What happened to the portrayal of bravery and intense swordplay we all saw in ‘The Two Towers’, where thousands of men and elves braved off tens of thousands of axe wielding Uruk-Hai storming the gates and breaching the walls. That was a battle I commend you for Jackson, a real epic. But you’ve gone off the rails a bit here mate. A little OTT with the CGI (a little over-the-top- with the Computer Generated Imagery). It was really irritating to watch a frail blonde haired lady-boy like Legolas to cling on to one of the three hundred foot elephants (you need to visit a zoo a Jackson) while it is running probably at around 30-40 mph, make his way to the top, shooting arrows into his enemies on the way there and then firing an arrow into its head. Terribly inaccurate I think. Judging by the speed of which the giant elephant runs, it would not be possible for anybody to support themselves on two feet on the spine of the elephant let alone aiming and firing bows at your enemies as well. Perfect example of a director taking CGI too far, almost to the point that you could believe you were watching a ‘Toy Story’ flick.

I might as well wrap it up now, I think I’ve given Mr Jackson enough stick seeing as he spent seven years of his life making this trilogy and leading up to this film. If you’ve read the book, go and see the film, compare the two. The visual quality of the film is stunning and for those of you who loved the book, the film will plunge you deeper into the realm of the ‘Lord Of The Rings’ fantasy. If you’ve got a boring date, then take her/him to see this, it’ll take three hours off your night. If you’ve seen the other two, you might as well finish the trilogy, and for those of you who disagreed with my review or want to complain, you can find meā€¦not caring.

J.D. is a freelance writer who is currently doing research for a book on the films of Michael Mann. He likes reading anything written by Jack Kerouac, James Ellroy, J.D. Salinger, Harlan Ellison or Thomas Pynchon. J.D. is currently addicted to the T.V. series 24 and enjoys drinking a lot of Sprite. This is not a blatant plug for the beverage but if they ever decided to give him a lifetime supply he certainly wouldn’t turn them down.
view all DVD reviews by JD Lafrance


Rating: 75%



Got something to say?