The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Director: Peter Jackson
Year Released: 2003
Rating: 2.0

Final piece of the Lord of the Rings trilogy ... and if no one minds my saying so, thank God. It's a significant step up from a problematic second part (The Two Towers) that busied itself with three meandering plot lines but is still not as involving as the part one where we were treated to an extended introduction to the characters - here, it's less about them than about the thousands of computer-generated monsters that overload the screen. I wasn't bothered by the series of ending fragments - all are needed to 'wrap up' what is actually a gargantuan project - but still found myself indifferent to the virtually nonstop battling and swordplay (it's obvious the good guys will win with no problem, so it never felt like there was ever any sense of peril - for example, when the invincible army of the dead show up to take out millions of ogres). The cast is as good as you'd hope and do their damnedest with some exceptionally hokey dialogue.