I had read all the articles about Christopher Lee not appearing in the final film and that it begin with a flashback of Smeagol and Deagol and was disapoointed at that news. But I booked my tickets early and went to see it on opening day.
I thought the flashback scene was interesting because it helps those who perhaps don’t know the books but I thought it was badly placed. I’ve read the books, but if you’ve never read them you won’t understand what it going on. I thought it would have fitted better wher Gollum is talking to his reflection, after he says he’s done it before. But the scene was still good fun.
The next section was very good until we got to Isengard. I knew we wouldn’t see Saruman, but Isengard felt incomplete and confusing without him. By biggest question was ‘why was the palantir in the water?’. There is no explanation at all of how it came to be there, intead of on its stand inside Orthanc. Also it was in FOTR that we last saw it, so some people may have forgotten its significance.
Finally at the end, it was a they all live happily ever after ending. When they return to the shire, things are not alright, but this being another Saruman was also cut. It changes the ending of the story quite a lot.
BUT despite everything I was just said I really enjoyed the film. It has spectacular scenery and I thought the lighting of the beacons was amazing. Its one of the best scenes. The computer graphics are better than the last film and Gimli has some very good lines. And though they seem to have gone multiplier happy with the battle of the Pelenor fields, it is amazing watching 10000s horses crash into the side of the orcs.
I would say that its a shame with how much is missing, but what they have left in has been done very well.