LOTR Review - Independent


 

Lord Of The Rings

By Gareth Gorman

05 December 2001

 

Finally it's arrived and, as the Pet Shop Boys may have once asked, Was It Worth It? Well, yes and how. "Impressive," said in a Darth Vaderesque, breathy growl is what has to be said here, and, frankly, that will do better than any other hyperbole.

The visuals are, quite literally, out of this world and, for that matter, any world you've ever imagined.

But, despite all the money spent on impressing our pants off faster than an Essex lecher, it's Mr multi-initialled Tolkien's characters that really make the grade and, of course, Peter Jackson's casting.

All characters are uber-genuine and well-played, especially the character of Gandalf (played by Ian McKellen) who is an obvious driving force in the film, and perfect for the part. The hobbits were also well showcased, and their tiny stature was well presented. Wait until you catch Ian Holm as a three-and-a-half-foot hobbit.

Basic storyline ­ for those who can't be bothered reading what is a hefty tome ­ goes as follows...

The ring is extremely powerful and ultimately leads to evil by corrupting those who use it. The man who created the ring, Dark Lord Sauron, is prime on getting it back and ruling the world, but Gandalf and his band of merry men obviously do not want this to happen. Gandalf, Frodo and seven other members of their ilk set out to destroy the ring.

Unfortunately, they can't just throw it away or bury it ­ hey, this isn't Titanic, thankfully ­ because Sauron's evil followers (let's call them the Nazguz or Ringwraiths) are irresistibly drawn to it and will find it wherever it goes, no matter what...

From here all sorts of crazy mad, bonkers action with gargoylish creatures and diminutive humanoid types occurs, as the action moves to the Mines of Moria

Now the Mines Of Moria used to be the greatest Dwarven (yes, we do believe that is a word) city on Earth. Be warned, they like to live in caves in this film, folks. Well, who wouldn't like to spend their time in dark, damp, cavernous places, when you start to dwell on it?

Gandalf reads the writing on it (not English) and also says a few words. At this point, they're all standing around pretty quietly, when one of Frodo's hobbit friends, Pippin to be specific, decides to touch a skeleton behind him...

And that, my friends, will be enough for you to go on until you fork out the necessary sovs for yourself.

Peter Jackson, mad director type that he is, has managed to film a version of Lord Of The Rings that will over-ride any expectations you may have had or could have imagined. This will be more than enough Ring action to keep you going for a year, which of course will just take you through until Episode 2, which just manages to have a better title than Attack Of The Clones.

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