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:: Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

Director Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings has come to a brilliantly spectacular conclusion. Arguably, it is placed with, and surpasses, such others as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Matrix and even The Godfather. Jackson’s vision in this final instalment was to maintain the theme, plot and adventure as in its two predecessors, Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. The movie presents a sound ending at the Grey Havens and features a magnificent battle sequence at the Pelennor Fields and the Black Gates against Sauron.

The Return of the King reintroduces us to creepy little creature Gollum as we are given his story within the ring as power hungry fisher folk Smeagol who (like others before him) became spellbound by the ring and even now cannot let go of it and its potential power. Setting out to sabotage Frodo and Sam’s relationship, Gollum becomes a key figure in the eventual destruction of the ring as his story at the commencement of The Return of the King clearly foreshadows.

The bulk of the film concerns itself with the battles that ensue between the fellowship and the evil force of Sauron. Most memorable is the battle at Minas Tirith with The Steward of Gondor, Denethor, unaffectedly eating away at his chicken whilst his whole city is being destroyed. Beasts from land and sky all descend upon the town as Jackson covers every angle of this destruction whilst Gandalf tells Pippin that death is not the end. We surely believe this to be true. On land we witness the bravery of Eowyn (Miranda Otto) who risks her life to save King Theoden against the Witch King who announces that no man can kill him. That is until she reveals herself and clarifies that she is not a man.

Our good ol’ and familiar faithfuls are also back in action, being the likes of Merry and Pippin, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli and other characters viewers have grown to adore. Most of these heroes have their “moments of glory.” Unforgettably Aragorn leading the Army Of The Dead into battle and Legolas single-handedly shooting out an Oliphant (bad elephant), provide great close-ups for their ever increasing legion of female fans.

It is unfortunate that significant figures such as Saruman and Grima Wormtongue, who played key roles in the previous two films, are nowhere to be seen in this concluding trilogy. This leaves the viewer left in the dark over the destinies of these characters. It is also worth noting that the film does not faithfully follow Tolkien's original masterpiece. If one expects the movie to be a strict motion interpretation of the novel, they will be in for a shock surprise. Although it is based on the Tolkien literature, the film has been slightly altered, providing a touch of difference. However, this does not make the movie any less spectacular.

The Return of the King contains many amazing scenes to feast upon, offering up the brilliant work of its creators and technicians, as each sequence is a sight to behold. Each sequence is outstanding in acting, direction, visual and special effects, sound and editing. The battle sequences especially capture this feat.

As Frodo and Sam continue their journey through to Morder and Mount Doom (in another fantastic sequence) their journey draws to a close and life is restored to all, although profoundly changed for ever. Just as with the experience of watching The Return of the King does for its audience.

Screening on general release