The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Instead of ending his massive retelling of the Tolkien series with a bang, director Peter Jackson has turned "The Return of the King" into the fat, lumbering relative who won't leave when he's supposed to and simply lingers, sweating, on the living room couch.
I spent the last 40 minutes of this thing wondering when in the hell it was going to stop. It fades to black more times than Ozzy Osbourne taking an I.Q. test. Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) start slowly hoofing it up Mt. Doom while Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and the other members of the Fellowship battle the evil Orcs. It's almost as if the hike takes place in real time. It made me think that Mt. Doom badly needs a gondola.
And is it just me or is there enough man-love in this film to make a Promise Keeper weep? Merry (Dominic Monaghan) loves Pippin (Billy Boyd), Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) loves Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and of course, Sam loves Frodo. It's pretty certain that once this whole battle for Middle Earth is over, there are going to be more than a few members of the Fellowship in therapy trying to straighten out their sexuality.
Oh, and let's not beat around the bush here: Why is the ending so long, you ask? If Jackson didn't do everything humanly possibly to be true to the book, LOTR fans would hunt him down. They're freaks. I know it. You know it. The series ends in slavish tribute to the power of their freakishness.
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