The Zero Hour

Reviews, rants and oddities on video game and film culture.

My Top Ten Movies of all time #9

Return Of The King (2003)
Directed by Peter Jackson

It was difficult for me to decide wether to place a single Lord Of The Rings film on here, I loved the books as a child and yes, the films deserve every bit of praise that they recieve, but because of their trilogy status, I wasn’t sure wether to place one and ignore the others. Thankfully though, The Return Of The King outshines the other two in almost every way.

The final part of the trilogy is given 3/4 hours (depending which version you watch) to sum up the loose ends of the story. Frodo and Sam are just hours away from Mordor and Gondor stands on the brink of defeat,  the only person who can save it is Aragorn, son of Arathorn and rightful heir to the throne. What ensues is literally carnage. The Battle of Minas Tirith is potentially the biggest battle ever put to film (that puts almost all war epics to shame) and there’s so much detail in there, you could watch it hundreds of times and still spot something new in there.

Of course, being an adaptation, somethings get lost, the palantir’s true power is only hinted at and the taking of the Shire isn’t there (which is a shame) but every scene that’s left in is an absolute joy. The CGI is wonderous, you can get lost in the dreaming spires of Minas Tirith and forget that a good portion of it doesn’t actually exist, the haunting caves, ash laden volcanoes and disintergrating spires of Mordor make for a truly bleak, but mesmerizing scene, that will forever be etched into your memory (whenever I write fantasy stuff and think of villians, I use Mordor as a reference).

Of course, the thing that really hits you in this film is the emotion. Because of the scope and drama of the events, there’s an uncountable amount of moments that turn from joy to sorrow. The end is the main offender here. A lot of people complain that the ending is too long (especially on the extended edition) But I really don’t believe that at all, I always think it’s a completely appropriate way to finish it and a ultimate full stop, it doesn’t leave you hanging on for something else (Return Of The Jedi does this, thank the lord for spin-off novels) and you feel a sense of closure, as Frodo leaves Middle Earth (I always thought of it as a metaphor for death) and Sam finishes his book. It’s the way an epic story should end. And I wouldn’t change anything about it for anything on Middle Earth.

Buy it now!

10. Up
9. The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King


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