At first, I must say “Return of the King” by far exceeded my expectations. This beautiful, melancholic movie was not at all what I expected.
The outdrawn war scenes in the “Two Towers” scared me: Even though the battle of Helm’s Deep was quite a big part of the book, it made the movie somewhat distanced and unbalanced, and I feared the battle of Pelennor would take over the whole movie and that it would be even more distanced. But this third film is here and there a real masterpiece.
In regular, I’m not a big fan of great war scenes, but in “Return of the King” they fit so well together with the calm, emotionally very strong scenes with the beautiful, moderate colouration and the minimalistic acting. Together they indeed create a wonderful entirety.
A scene that I particulary like is when Pippin sings for king Denethor while Faramir rides towards Osgiliath. It shows such contrasts, but they say something about each other and fit together so naturally, something that really is representative for the best parts of the film.
Some bad things, though, are:
– The end, when Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin come back to the Shire. No sign of the Scouring of the Shire, on the contrary everything is as usual there, if not better.
– That the army of the dead is GREEN! It looks like some stupid ghost movie, not like Tolkien. They look like slime.
– Aragorn’s and Arwen’s Hollywood kiss in the end. More commercial than Tolkienistic.
– Some special effects aren’t good at all, and I think that is a pity, though most of the effects are marvelous.
The quest is finished, and Peter Jackson is well worthy a trip to Valinor.