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  • Paul Davidson

Lord of the Rings, “Return of the King”

As someone unfamous said to me once, “Movies that have three parts always have at least one part that sucks ass”. And, well, most of the time that unfamous person was right. Let’s look at the evidence:

Star Wars (great) Empire (awesome) Jedi (sucked ass)

Raiders of the Lost Ark (awesome) Temple of Doom (sucked ass) Last Crusade (great)

Jaws (awesome) Jaws 2 (decent) Jaws 3-d (sucked ass)

You get the point. Lest we not forget the trilogies that don’t fall into that quote mentality:

Matrix (awesome) Matrix 2 (sucked ass) Matrix 3 (sucked ass)

What can I say.

Nonetheless, I finally sat down to watch the 200+ minute Lord of the Rings – Return of the King this afternoon. Hell, it was my whole day. When you get in line at 1:30pm for the movie, and leave at 6:30pm, you pretty much have to find a way to justify that as your job, since so much of your day is being taken up by it. With some clever accounting practices, you’ll even be able to write off the popcorn on your taxes! We’ll get into that come April. Stay tuned!

As for Return of the King I’m gonna give it to you straight. This is one damn cool movie. Mind you, I thought the first chapter in the trilogy was a bit meandering; just like the journey for the characters… Although faithful to the book, it just wasn’t satisfying on the whole. You had this group of people wandering throughout some huge Tolkien landscape (which none of the audience had any sense of; in scope or size), and it ended in the middle of the story with a bunch of our characters going their separate ways. Good, not great.

The Two Towers proved to be pretty damn entertaining, but it was all about the battle. That movie was one big battle. We missed Frodo and Sam throughout most of the second film, but the battle and the talking, bearded trees (my local Home Depot doesn’t sell them, go figure) were worth the price of admission. Good stuff, even great.

Going into Return of the King I knew a couple things were going to happen. Well, in fact, I knew everything that was going to happen. In a nushell, good beats evil. Then there’s a whole bunch of time spent to resolving everyone’s lives. I even heard that Gandalf ended up dying, being reborn, then opening a Hot Dog on a Stick shoppe over in some of the new strip malls they were building back in the Shire. Needless to say, lies. All lies.

Without giving anything away (except for good beats evil, you dumbass), I will tell you that if you haven’t seen the first two, you probably should just so you can “be there emotionally” for the characters. Other than that prerequisite, the movie rocks. One of the most awesome battle sequences ever, and some great villains. I will say that I was having a bit of the deja vu with all these archers lately in movies. Between this and The Last Samurai, Timeline and Something’s Gotta Give (I wanted to be an archer so I should shoot myself out of my own misery), all had battle sequences with archers.

I just kept thinking to myself, “Damn, those archers are really deadly.” Seriously, why isn’t the U.S. Government using archers anymore? They stand reaaaaaally far away from the action, wait for the opposing forces to run towards them, then they shoot them into the air. About half the guys in the front are always killed instantly. Or what about flaming arrows? Those things are crazy deadly, also. I don’t know – they scare the hell out of me, why aren’t we training people over in Iraq to use archery against terrorism? Think of it this way — what if we had thousands of archers as the Taliban were running away from us in Afghanistan? They just shoot those arrows into the air, and without having to run everyone down, they’d nab a whole good section of them. I don’t know – seems smart to me. (Internal thoughts say, “Maybe the government is monitoring this blog and will make some adjustments in their military strategy?”)

So, back to the movie. Here’s my haiku review:

Return of the King, an awesome movie to see. That’s right. Run, don’t walk.

Really, is there anything I could say after such a brilliant haiku to drive the point home?

I think not.

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