The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

This film has caused me to have a bit of a crisis about review-writing. More specifically, what the rating I give means. Should the number of stars be representative of how much I enjoyed the film or how much I think the average viewer will enjoy it? Or should I attempt to make it a more objective measure of the film's overall worth? I think the easiest and most honest way to use the ratings is to just give my own reaction to the film, and let you decide whether or not you are willing to trust me. Many of you may be surprised at my rating; in fact, I'm a little surprised myself. I always try to judge a movie on its own merits, without comparing it too heavily to another work from which it may be derived. But here the original is just too close to my heart, and I know it too well. I find myself unable to forgive Peter Jackson for changing the characters so drastically. You see, Jackson is a world-builder, not a storyteller. He sees the world of Middle-Earth and wants to give it to us, and as long as he can show us that world, it doesn't matter if he changes the story or the people in it. But I cannot accept that interpretation. I imagine that I am part of a tiny minority in my feelings on this film. Most people haven't read the books, so will find this movie awesome for its special effects, action, and acting. And many fans of the books will love Jackson for giving them Middle-Earth. But I just can't get past my own feelings of what's important in this story, and how absent it all is from this film.

Viewed: 12/25/2003 | Released: 12/16/2003 | Score: C

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