Directed by: Peter Jackson
Starring: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, John Rhys-Davies, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving, Sean Bean, Ian Holm
Synopsis: I highly doubt I need to give a synopsis but here's one anyway, following the K.I.S.S. principle:
There's this ring. It's extremely powerful. The good guys have it and the bad guys really really want it. The good guys realize that the ring needs to be destroyed to save the world and set off on an epic journey to do so.
Keep in mind that I read the books once, way back when I was a teenager, and I did not re-read them before watching the movie. Frankly, I think that's a good thing. I was able to enjoy the movie for itself while still knowing the background, the characters, and their relationships to each other, but I didn't find it necessary to rip the movie apart, nitpicking every single detail that didn't exactly match the book. Now on to the review...
This is a great movie. Action-packed, exciting, and frightening at times (I almost jumped out of my chair at one point even though I knew what was going to happen!). The scenery and the sets are amazing and some of them must have been breathtaking in the theatre. The casting was very well done. There was only one character that I didn't think was right (more below) and Ice agreed. The orcs, goblins, uruks, and other "bad guys" were ugly nasty creatures. The ringwraiths in particular were terrifying. Even their horses were terrifying.
Some comments on the cast:
-- Elijah Wood did a good job of portraying the vulnerable but strong Frodo.
-- Gandalf (Ian McKellen) looked and acted exactly as I had always pictured him.
-- Viggo Mortensen played Aragorn/Strider to perfection. And that's saying something since his character was and is my favourite.
-- Sean Astin (Sam), Billy Boyd (Pippin), and Dominic Monaghan (Merry) were great little hobbits. Pippin in particular was hilarious.
-- Sean Bean (Boromir) made me cry.
-- Orlando Bloom (Legolas) was very pretty.
-- John Rhys-Davies (Gimli) was gruff and proud and dwarf-like. Just like he was supposed to be.
-- Ian Holm played a tormented, tired Bilbo very well.
-- (and my one complaint) Hugo Weaving as Elrond wasn't quite right. Elves are beautiful (male and female) and elegant and aristocratic and... well... otherworldly. Weaving is none of those things. Don't get me wrong: he played the part very well. He just didn't look the part.
A little more character development might have been nice but it was a very well made movie. I highly recommend it. In fact, I plan to buy the extended version when it comes out in November.Added 23 August 2002 at 3:20 AM
You can tell Ripley really, really liked it because she was verbose. And thankfully too, cuz I could not have said those things nearly so well.
The sets and settings were spectacular! The casting was awesome; the hair, clothing and weapons were astounding; the attention to detail was brilliant; but the best part was the promotion. The trailers were absolutely perfect for getting people into the theatre. Well done.
The only negative aspect I found was occasionally in the perspective: sometimes the Hobbits appeared comparatively tall and then comparatively small. Not really much to complain about there, I think! It's a great movie. Go see it.Added 11 October 2002 at 9:19 AM