I would like to start out by saying that the special effects, CGI, costumes, sets and acting were all brilliantly well-done. I have no complaints there. However, the movie still left me greatly disapointed. All the memorable scenes that I was looking forward to seeing on the big screen, such as Eowyn slaying the witch king, Sam’s grief at losing Frodo, and the Battle of the Pelennor fields did not come off with the drama and the emotion that they deserve. The suspense before the Palennor fields battle was not there. It needed all the drama that was given to Helm’s deep in the previous movie, because it really was a hopeless battle, where the very fate of men relied on Rohan and Aragorn arriving ontime. The battle just kind of began, with little tension leading up to it.
Denethor was portrayed as a grumpy old man, not the greiving wise Steward that he is. The scene with him stuffing his face like a pig just made a mockery of his character. When he jumped off the citadel while in flames was just silly, and is sure to invite some laughter.
The surprise when Eowyn slays the witch king wasn’t there, because it was obvious it was Eowyn the whole time. I also wish that the film would have shown Eowyn getting clearly forbidden to go into war, and her desperation from not being able to be with Aragorn causing her to ride off to what she believes to be her death.
Frodo leaving Sam was uncalled for by a long shot, and just made me angry. A major theme is the bond between Frodo and Sam, and how they will stay together until the end. And why did Sam only go back after he found the lembas that Gollum threw down? He didn’t need to prove his innocence to himself, so what made him think Frodo would believe that when he didn’t believe him before? Sam weeping over Frodo’s body after he has been stung by Shelob was ruined by Frodo being wrapped up like a mummy, and Sam’s difficult choice to leave Frodo wasn’t shown at all. However, I did greatly love the final scene on Mount Doom, after the ring has been destroyed and Sam and Frodo are on the rock, surrounded by lava, waiting to die. That scene was one of the few that was able to convey true emotion.
Does Legolas need a surfing scene in every movie? When he climbs up the Oliphaunt, takes it down by himself, then surfs down the trunk was just crazy and so unbelievable it lessens the effect of the battle. What’s next, Legolas Greenleaf: Pro Skater?
In conclusion, I understand that the movie does not have to stay true to the book to be good, but all the themes and emotions that make Lord of The Rings such a masterpiece were (for the most part) left out in the movie, which just seemed to be in a hurry to fit everything in. It also didn’t help that the music score was not as good as in the previous two movies. I would still give this movie 8 stars out of ten because of the awesome effects, and just how difficult a story like that would be to put into film, but it was still disappointing.