Recommended for: Lord of the Rings fans
Rating: PG-13 (intense epic battle sequences and frightening images)
The final battle for Middle-earth begins. Frodo and Sam, led by Gollum, continue their dangerous mission toward the fires of Mount Doom in order to destroy the One Ring. Aragorn struggles to fulfill his legacy as he leads his outnumbered followers against the growing power of the Dark Lord Sauron, so that the Ring-bearer may complete his quest.
This is the third part in The Lord of the Rings and is the longest and probably the most violent and epic out of the three. It is also very sad and I hate the very end because it is sad and I had no idea that it would end like that, the first time I saw it.
There was a part near the end where you could tell that the Hobbits weren't really there and there is one part, during a battle, where it looks like Legolas was done by special effects. It is a really cool part and one of my favorite battle scenes. Other than a couple of things like that, the special effects were great and realistic. The actors were all believable as their characters. Since it switches back and forth between the characters, the story flows well. I like how in one scene you can see what Frodo and Sam are going through and what Pippin and another member of the Fellowship are doing at the same time. While reading the book, I had to look at the timeline to see what the characters were doing at the same time.
One new setting is Minas Tirith, which you only get glimpses of in previous movies. It is a once grand city on a mountain that has had some decay. It gets damaged throughout the movie. There is also Cirith Ungol which is the secret entrance to Mordor. It is mostly a very steep staircase that leads to a tunnel that is home to a very large inhabitant. It is in this movie that you get a close up look at Mordor. It is dark and is a rocky expanse of land without growing things and is inhabited by orcs. There is also Mount Doom and the tower with the eye of Sauron, which is always watching. You also see some old places, like the Shire, the Black Gate, and Edoras, a city in Rohan.
The main goal is still to destroy the Ring of Power and that is what Frodo and Sam are trying to do. The others help to defend their land and try to give Frodo and Sam a chance to succeed. In the regular version, their enemy Saruman kind of just disappears from the story. In the extended version they show what happens to him. It is partially changed from the book, because it took place in a different location under different circumstances, but one thing was kept the same. (To make it like the book would make this movie even longer than it already is.) There was another extended part at the Black Gate when Sauron sent an unnamed creature to negotiate some terms. It wasn't exactly like in the books, but it was similar. The extended edition also had some scenes from the Houses of Healing, which I liked.
This is where you really get to know Denethor. His character was done well but he is unlikeable and insane. It is sad to see how the Ring destroys Frodo's life and how it changed him. Sam is always loyal to "Mr. Frodo" no matter how Frodo acts. The characters are all great and even though they grow throughout the story they are still the same characters.
The Lord of the Rings is an inspirational story that is filled with hope, and I have enjoyed watching it once again. I would recommend this movie but only after watching the first two. It can be a little confusing if you haven't read the book and if there isn't someone around who has read it, fortunately I had my sister to explain things to me the first time, but it is a great story and it is a good adaptation of a great classic.