The Lord of the Rings follows Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), a young hobbit who finds himself in possession of the most powerful ring in the world. He must resist its temptation and destroy it before the evil Sauron comes back to life and takes over Middle Earth.
The Lord of the Rings has been a staple to pop culture since I could remember. But I never seen the movies as a whole before now. I actually have seen all The Hobbit movies before seeing this trilogy in full. And this definitely the superior trilogy of the two, though I still did enjoy The Hobbit films overall.
I was already familiar with the overall plot of the film, but I really appreciated the characters during my viewing experience. Samwise (Sean Astin) really is the MVP of the trilogy, I don’t think there’s a more loyal and perfect friend to have in life. Aragon (Viggo Mortenson) was another favorite of mine and his adventures with Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) were the most action-packed parts of the films. But I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the character of Gollum (Andy Serkis). I didn’t realize how complex of a character he was and how he struggles to hang onto his human side of Smeagol.
I must say that Sauron was a bit disappointing as the villain. He never properly rose again, which is good for our heroes, but the I never understood how he is still so powerful and dangerous after he “died.” He was able to amass giant armies of orcs, have a powerful wizard on his side, and even turned into a flaming eye, but is never given any more depth other than that. We never know his motivations for taking over Middle Earth, we only know that he is evil.
Of the three films, I must say Fellowship is my favorite. I liked seeing everyone interacting together and how their dynamic worked, but in the rest of the films, the fellowship is split up. The separate adventures are vital to the film’s plot, but I did not find them as enjoyable. Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pipin (Billy Boyd) with the tree creatures in The Two Towers is the most that immediate to come to mind. Though the trilogy is epic, it’s also super long, and has some dwindling parts that I could have done without.
Nowadays, there aren’t many fantasy films being released anymore. And when one is released in theaters, they often flop at the box office because style gets in the way of story and characters. The fact that Peter Jackson was able to balance the world building of Middle Earth, each of the character’s separate story lines, and the many battle sequences without losing focus on the overlying themes of the book like how power can easily corrupt someone is very impressive.
Overall, The Lord of the Rings are masterful and epic fantasy films that will stand the test of time and always have a place in film history. It’s been 17 years since the films have been released, and they still hold up due to the cast, direction, and story. No other fantasy film can compare (as of yet) and its influence can still be seen in today’s blockbusters and movie series.
I give The Lord of the Rings trilogy an A-