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

It’s been a turbulent and bittersweet three years with the good vs. evil “Lord of the Rings” trilogy making its way into theaters and creating a phenomenal and historic legacy. Director Peter Jackson has so skillfully created a trilogy that has been flawlessly taken from the pages of the legendary JRR Tolkien books and put it on the big screen for all to glimpse at the magic of Middle Earth. “The Return of the King” manages to come out of the first two with much individuality but fits into the first two films tightly coming together as an incredible whole. As individual movies, these are jaw-dropping stunners, and as a whole they’re truly an accomplishment only Peter Jackson could have constructed.

“Return of the King” is indeed an achievement as food for the eyes, for the soul, and for any fan of the series. We continue into the trek to Mount Doom to destroy the ring with Frodo, SamWise Gangee, and Gollum who intends on leading them to death to get his hands on the ring which he eagerly desires. Sam is on to Gollum’s intentions and is desperate to reveal him as a traitor but Frodo refuses to abandon him, meanwhile the others have found their own paths to separate destinies within their adventure as Merry and Wyn become warriors hidden among the soldiers as the army of Rohan wages a desperate losing battle against the hordes of Orc forces under Sauron’s rule who outnumbers their fire power greatly, Pippin becomes a servant and forms a friendship with Gandalf,

Legolas and Gimli form a stronger bond among the battlefield, and Aragorn leads the army of Minas Trith along with undead warriors into battle against the Orc and fights his way to his fate as King. We continue with Sam and Frodo who are struggling to survive among their journey as hope for the victor over Lord Sauron quickly begins to fade. When all hope is lost good attempts to triumph and we watch a spectacle that is almost too good to be true. The special effects in the film are incredible with seamless effects complimented by top-notch performances by the entire cast. We get to see Sean Astin develop as an actor with his great portrayal of the character Samwise who is given much more to do in this film from the first two which he played sidekick and second player to many of the other actors but manages to achieve much capacity within his character.

He is turned into a hero in one exciting sequence when he courageously takes on the killer spider who intends on having Frodo for lunch, and when he battles Orcs alone to save Frodo once again. Andy Serkis returns as Gollum the fiend who was ruined by the ring and his character is also much more emphasized through an origin tale in the opener where we learn much more of his life. What’s so genius of his character is the interplay between Gollum and his alter-ego whom he constantly battles with; Gollum looks into a pool of water and talks, the reflection talk back almost as if it’s an entirely parallel person. It’s brilliant, it’s genius.

Jackson’s approach towards the characters of Tolkien’s mythology is unlike anything ever seen before, and his breathtaking landscapes are stunning. It’s been a great run for all old and new fans of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. This has become a film series for many to talk of, and truly a series that has made its mark upon Cinema. This is a masterpiece of filmmaking.