One of the greatest movie trilogies of all times and the most epic fantasy brought to the big screen, but is it perfect? Without trying to watch this through Middle Earth tinted glasses we take a look…
- The Uruk-hai Haka at Helms Deep
This was the first time we really get to the giant sized set piece action that LotR is known for and with 10,000 elf-man-hulk hybrids coming to slaughter the rest of the people of Rohan, once they are all lined up and start smashing their staffs upon the ground in the pouring rain, the tension builds and you know something special is about to happen.
2. Sméagol vs Gollum
The scene where Gollum is arguing with himself in The Two Towers deserves recognition on another level given Andy Serkis’ CGI work. He completely nails the split personality and the scatty nature of the mannerisms of someone who’s been living in isolation in a cave for far to long. Part dastardly villain and part innocent child Serkis proves his worth in his acting depth.
3. Battle of Helms Deep
As mentioned the first large scale battle in the trilogy that ended up changing the way epic battles were done forever. Huge tension, the dark elves coming to ‘mans’ aid, and an army of Uruk-Hai 10,000 strong vs a brigade of 600 mostly made up of peasants. The great thing about this is that generally it was a slaughter, as it should have been. Tons of despair and fantastically choreographed action. Several moments etched into our memories in this corker of a battle (“Nobody tosses a dwarf”).
4. Battle of Pelennor Fields
If you thought Helms Deep was blinding wait until the Battle of Pellenor fields. The stakes are higher, Gondor has lost it’s hero son in Borimir, Farimir lays wounded and their ‘protector’ Denathor has lost the plot. Siege towers, flying Nazgul, giant elephants with spiked tusks, trebuchet’s and an army of the dead! It’s a long battle and is great for every second of it. A different tone to that of Helms Deep but no less memorable.
5. “For Frodo”
Two words… spine tingling. Every time. I just can’t help it. The emotion that is left after the humans/elves/dwarves are nearly wiped out, after all the death and loss with defeat inevitable and STILL those that remain march on the Black Gate to fix Sauron’s gaze. In the extended edition Aragon loses his shit with the mouth of Sauron and chops his head off before going back, no big rousing speeches are needed, no death defying feats, all sounds are drowned out while Sauron’s eye is fixed on Aragorn and then he utters those final emotional words…
- The Nazgul need to go to Specsavers
This guy in the picture below is the god damn Witch King of Angmar, leader of all Nazgul and strongest of the men who fell to the power of the ring. This ring that he can sense from distances far and near (remember upon Wethertop?) so early in the Fellowship of the Ring when he leans over and takes a big long sniff it appears this crazy strong entity (Stronger than Gandalf the White, but not as strong as a grammar loop hole it seems) has no peripheral vision and instead gets distracted by something thrown about 10 feet away from underneath where he is looking! Nice one Witch King… nice one.
2. Note to Denathor… this isn’t the Shakesphere Globe
I’m not denying that Jon Noble is a talented actor or theatre director (which explains a lot), but his portrayal of Gondor’s protector of the realm and grief stricken father is just so over the top. Whilst everyone else is acting within the emotion of their scenes Noble’s Denathor (second of his name) performance is tantamount to intentional scene stealing. His charisma completely overshadows what else is going on and any other characters in his scene. Jon-boy, have a Kit Kat, your a right theatrical diva when you haven’t eaten your Kit Kat.
3. Frodo, Sam, Gollum and the lembas bread
I get that the ring has a detrimental effect to those who wear it, and that although not massively clear in the film, they are on the road for around a year (significantly longer in the book), but for Frodo to turn around and banish Sam for being accused of eating all the lembas bread (fat, stupid hobbit) is just ridiculous.
Now there are those who will argue “eugh, clearly Frodo is starting to identify with Sméagol as a fellow wearer of the ring and can relate to his suffering in a way Sam can’t.” and even if that were true the only evidence he has to go on is the word of someone who’s been trying to steal the ring from him… and some crumbs.. that’s it?!
After everything he’s done for you, you little shit Frodo.
4. Arwen’s made up destiny
In particular the part where Elrond explains that her life is tied to the fate of the one ring. As Sauron’s power grows her light of the Evening star fades… wait… what?!
When did this happen? How did this happen? What connection does one have to the other? It’s just nonsense. Yes, arguably it makes Aragorn fight that bit harder (cue a Huey Lewis Power of Love interlude), but she’s barely in the trilogy and certainly has no connection to the Dark Lord.
5. Hobbits in a bed
This scene at the end of Return of the King is just pure unadulterated cheese of the highest order, and definitely gets the most cringe worthy moment of the trilogy for me. Just look at Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli getting their voyeur on. Am I the only one that finds it odd that a 90 odd year old human, a 139 year old dwarf, a 2000 year old wizard and a 3000 year old elf are getting as much pleasure watching hobbit’s frolic as they do?! I had a friend who was into midget porn… ‘HAD’ being the operative word.
That longing look that Sam gives him too, you just no his future wife is never really going to make him quite as happy as Master Frodo.