One word review: Wow.
Two word review: Oh, man.
Three word review: Holy freakin’ crap.
Four word review: It was that good.
Five word review (just for Bill): The best of the trilogy.
I was blown away. Even Jen liked it, although the camera action during the battle scenes proved to be a bit more than she was comfortable with, triggering a headache for her. I had no such problem.
Was it perfect? By no means. The climax, quite honestly, felt a bit rushed. By saving Shelob’s lair until midway through Return of the King, I think Jackson miffed the pacing a bit. That left Sam and Frodo something like twenty minutes to get from the tower to Mount Doom, which of course they did. And the march from Minas Tirith to the Black Gate appeared to take about ten seconds. Some clips of the journey would have helped that. And yes, I know that during that long journey, Frodo and Sam struggled their way to Mount Doom. It just wasn’t as clear as it could have been.
Otherwise, it was a great film. Gollum, again, was perfect. He will be remembered as the first great CGI character. I didn’t realize until watching the appendices on the Two Towers DVD that Andy Serkis drove the development of Gollum quite a lot. They were already animating when Serkis showed up to audition, and Jackson liked what he was doing with his face so much that he had Gollum “redrawn” to be based on Serkis. It worked.
The ending choked me up, even though I completely knew what was coming. When Frodo boarded the ship with Gandalf, a tear welled up in my eye. I knew he was going to; I’ve the read several times. But even so, I’ve come to care about these characters so much more through the films.
And of course, there are rumors of the Hobbit. We can only hope.
I can’t wait for the extended edition of ROTK.