Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

 

It’s full D&D porn, as Big Bad Sauron brings his Orcs, Men, and mammoths to bear on Middle Earth. Jackson builds impeccable spectacle–the Battle of Pelennor Fields is relentlessly exciting, and the players match the technical perfection, especially Mortensen as the titular king. Unfortunately, the soufflé collapses in the epilogue, where we get endless Hobbit giggles and tears and lilting woodwinds from composer Howard Shore.  If Howard Hawks’ formula for cinematic greatness was a movie with three great scenes and no bad scenes, this one has at least three great scenes and several boring ones.  The Best Picture win for this was basically a combo gift to the trilogy as a whole.

Author: Todd Wofford

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