The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) (mini-review++)


(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)

(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)

The mini-review:

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

acting 8

directing 7

writing 8

effects 9

editing 7

SW score: 39

4 out of 5 octopi

++ “It’s as if a billion geeks cried out in joy and then got even louder. In the geek pyramid of legendary tales, J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy is below no other. Now, this is not a typical pyramid. There is no undisputed #1. Hobbits and Jedis and Vulcans and Spider-men all are just shades of the most awesome. Peter Jackson was born to direct this masterpiece. We just had to wait for him to get the requisite chops and clout. He did not disappoint. Sure, some geeks will complain of the subplots and characters that he cut but he took a sacred text and distilled just about the best adaptation possible. The acting performances were pristine. the effects were groundbreaking. The score was triumphant. I don’t think any geek could ask for much more.” The quoted text was my review for the first flick in this inestimable trilogy. I enjoyed this capper to the trilogy. But maybe the amazing CGI wasn’t AS amazing to me anymore the third time around. Maybe I was spoiled by Gollum’s tour de force in The Two Towers.  I also think it’s the inevitable let down at the end of a great story. We all knew the good guys were going to win. Sure, it has the climax and it was great but it’s also sad. It’s a little death, right? We all know it’s over and we’ll never get to experiences it again for the first time. Still, all that whining aside, as far as geek film trifectas go, this may be the best ever.




(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.

(2) Octopuses (0-5 🐙, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)

(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feeling…not that SW score is scientific…but this one is even less so

(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)


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