Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Peter Jackson’s spectacular finale to the Lord of the Rings film trilogy seals up J.R.R. Tolkien’s mythic stories with banner performances by a cast that has become like family to fans who have faithfully followed the series. Jackson’s decision to leave Saruman (Christopher Lee) on the cutting room floor, to be seen only on the DVD, haunts the movie as to the whereabouts of Lee’s agile villain, but the film’s opening flashback sequence reveals Smeagol’s (Andy Serkis) former hobbit aspect before he became Gollum. The Lord of the Rings movies are the anti-Harry Potter of fantasy films that separate the men from the boys and, in so doing, unite hobbits, dwarves, men and women alike. All hail to the King.
Rated PG-13. 3 hrs. 20 mins. (A) (Five Stars)