The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Director: Peter Jackson
Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King is the third and final chapter in our trilogy. It brings the longest runtime of the series, and a ton of action packed moments. While over 3 hours long, it doesn’t feel long or drawn out in the slightest.
The Return of the King is my favourite of the three movies, and one you should consider watching if you haven’t already. The most engaging parts are all of the action scenes, the different battles, but I still believe the best part about Lord of The Rings is the world building and character building. The story and our characters are what keep you engaged for the full 3.5 hours, not the battle scenes.
This was also the film I knew the least about, having seen parts of the first two either in film form or in Lego LOTR.
Who is in The Return of the King
The Return of the King contains a cast as long as the first walking sequence in the first novel, but with a 3 hour run time, it works out quite well. Frodo and Sam are far and away the most important characters in the series and this movie is no different. Elijah Wood is perfectly cast as Frodo, and his character grows and changes a ton over the course of our journey. I really liked the fact that he isn’t always a very likeable character, but he is relatable. The effects of the ring are at the fore-front of his character for a large portion of The Return of The King, and these character shifts that made him an uncomfortable character to watch amplified the power of the ring.
Aragon also plays a major role in this movie, and we get to watch him step into the role he was destined to hold. Viggo Mortensen is wonderful in this movie, and he portrays Aragon wonderfully. The rousing speech he gives is one of my favourite moments in this movie, and it sets the tone for what comes next. He’s one of my favourite characters in the series and a really well put together character.
I’m sure Gandalf has been mentioned in the other two LOTR movie reviews, so I’m just going to breeze through him real quick here. Another awesome character, Ian Mckellen plays arguably the best character across the franchise. Whether it be The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, he is awesome, and that comes full circle in The Return of the King.
Sam comes a long way in The Return of The King. He takes a ton of crap from Frodo as the ring starts to take more of a hold, and gollum isn’t particularly kind to him either. Through all of the hardships, he remains very loyal and is the main reason our quest succeeds. This movie is 20 years old so I don’t want to hear anything about spoilers. Sam is played by Sean Astin, who is really good in the movie.
The last character I am going to touch on is Legolas. He is played by Orlando Bloom, and is a really cool character. We see quite a few elves at different points of this movie, but Legolas is the one we actually learn concrete things about. His prowess with a bow is remarkable, and he is also one of the smarter characters in our fellowship.
The Return of the King Review
Our characters play such a large role in this movie, and there are so many of them that make this an interesting watch. One of the most impressive things about Lord of The Rings is the world that was built around these characters. The different species and types of characters make this a very diverse series, and it leaves you wondering if there is something new coming at every turn.
The visuals in The Return of the Kind are stellar, with Mordor being my favourite. The different castles, fortresses, and villages give your eyes something new to absorb and digest constantly. The battles within this movie are also epic, both in cinematography and choreography. The different fighting styles, as well as the sheer numbers is very impressive. The landscapes are perfectly selected, and The Return of the King is just a very good movie to watch based on visuals alone.
The most surprising thing about The Return of The King is how well it handles its length. At 3:26, it looks pretty daunting to watch in one sitting, but I didn’t find it to be that way at all. While there are a few moments it feels long, you don’t really notice how long you’ve been sitting in front of your TV until it’s over. The action, our characters, and the plot all draw your attention for nearly the entire movie, and it’s impossible to look away.
I was very impressed that I didn’t find myself getting bored or in need of a break from this movie at all. By the time your attention starts to slip, the movie shifts to another set of characters and snatches it right back. The multiple storylines that mesh into the large 3 movie long story is the largest factor in keeping viewers engaged throughout the entire movie.
Moving from character set to characters set allows for each storyline to move slightly slower, and not put so much pressure on one set to maintain enough pace to hold attention for 3 hours. It also allows for our massive cast to get a decent amount of screen time. The storylines themselves are also quite interesting, but they all have different tones to them. It really shows how each part of the Middle-Earth reacts thought Frodo’s journey to destroy the ring.
I really, really enjoyed Return of The King start to finish. It’s my favourite in the series, and I loved the journey. I was worried about runtime and length, but that is a non-issue. The movie is so good you won’t notice the time, until you’ve spent your entire night glued to your tv. Our characters are phenomenal and the story comes to a satisfying ending, with a few open doors for speculation.