December 18, 2003

Return of the King

[Warning! Spoilers Ahead!]

I ventured out to see the 10:00 PM showing of The Return of The King last night, continuing my tradition of viewing the Lord of the Rings movies on opening night. While I'm reserving final judgment until I have seen it again in the theater and, more importantly, until I have seen the extended version on DVD, I can say that, purely as a movie, this is the best of the three.

But as an interpretation of Tolkien in letter and spirit, it ranks second behind The Fellowship of the Ring, which I think was most faithful to the source material, and well ahead of The Two Towers, which is in a distant third. I can look over the minor quibbles I have with some of Jackson's choices (like giving new footage to Pippin while deleting key aspects of Faramir's and Denethor's characters), because when Jackson gets it right, he gets it perfectly right -- The Ride of the Rohirrim, The Death of the Witch King and of King Theoden, and the entire Cracks of Doom sequence. And I can't complain about his omission of the Scouring of the Shire, which, like the Tom Bombadil chapter in the first book, would have been nice to see, but not essential to the story.

Update: What he said.

Posted by JohnL at December 18, 2003 09:21 PM
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