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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

“Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”

With a sweep and a flourish, director Peter Jackson brings his epic trilogy “The Lord of the Rings” to a finish that is sure to make it the greatest trilogy in cinematic history. It is hard to imagine that any set of films could sustain itself over three movies without losing its uniqueness or becoming repetitive and unimaginative, as can be seen with “The Matrix” trilogy not too long ago. “Return of the King” comes charging in hard on the heels of “The Two Towers” and doesn’t lose steam for a minute.
As with “The Two Towers,” the film is divided into two parts. The fellowship of the uncrowned king Aragorn (Mortenson), the wizard Gandalf (McKellen), the blustery Gimli (Rhys-Davies), Prince Legolas (Bloom) and the two ever-cheerful hobbits Merry (Monahan) and Pippin (Boyd) continue fighting apocalyptical battles against innumerable orcs and other fell beasts. They are joined with the rest of middle-earth, both living and dead, in their attempts to try and stop the once-good-turned-evil wizard Sauron (Lee) once and for all.
The other part follows the ring-bearing Frodo (Wood) and his loyal friend Sam (Astin) along with the treacherous Gollum (Serkis), as they journey closer to Mt. Doom.
Fresh from the battle of Helms Deep, Aragorn journeys with King Theoden and his niece Eowyn to the aid of Gondor in its most dire hour of need. The elf lord Elrond and his daughter Arwen, who put him on the final path to reclaiming the crown of Gondor, help him.
The battle of Pelennor Fields is more epic in scope than even Helm’s Deep. No battle comes close to the chaos that Jackson unleashes on the screen here. Giant elephants called mumakil stomp through the rohirrim, while their massive tusks sweep horse and rider into the air by the dozen. The Nazgul rule the sky, sowing fear and helplessness among the soldiers, while their beast pick up the terrified middle-earthmen and drop them from a thousand feet up. Orcs, trolls and men battle by the thousands in the streets of Minas Trith while rocks, fireballs and dead comrades fall from the sky like rain.
Yet in all of this, Jackson never allows the viewers to lose sight of the real people in the story. When Faramir rides out with his beleaguered troops to retake Osgiliath in a suicide mission, Dethenor sits and eats calmly while Pippin sings a lament with enough sorrow and sadness to tug at anyone’s heart.
The visuals and acting are nothing short of amazing. Peter Jackson continues to draw out the best in everything. From the journey across the mountains, the beacons are lit one by one, creating an effect that is nothing short of spectacular. The characters grow and change before the viewer’s eyes. They start to become more than pictures on the screen, evolving into real people whose lives or deaths actually mean something. The acting of the entire cast is of such quality that none can be singled out as being better than the other. Aragorn’s growth from ranger to king is near Shakespearean, while Gandalf continues in his ways; the pain of it all visibly haunts his eyes as he struggles against enormous odds. Even Gollum continues to grow in the audience’s eyes; even though viewers may despise him, there is still a feeling of compassion and sorrow for him to see the life of pain that he lives on account of the ring.
Everything about the trilogy is of the highest quality, and Jackson’s work is extraordinary. He has brought one of the greatest stories to life on screen without losing any of its majesty or character while making it appealing to people of all ages. This movie is destined to be a classic for years to come.

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