Winterpool sends us a breakdown on what the UK media has been saying about ROTK:
‘The Times (of London)’ remarks:
The film is not great art. Its a Herculean assault course that runs the emotions ragged for an exhausting 3hrs 21mins. That said, it would be churlish not to gift the film the full five stars.
‘The Guardian’ also has their review posted online. Their reviewer had more ambiguous feelings about the conclusion, confessing both admiration and relief.
Because on the one hand, The Lord of the Rings is undeniably a landmark in cinema history, a creation of demented, kamikaze passion that all logic suggested should never work and yet somehow did. And on the other, I can’t say I’m sad to see the back of it. There are only so many elves a man can ogle in his lifetime, only so many bravura battle scenes one can sit through, and a finite amount of cod portentous dialogue one can endure without wanting to plug your ears with cement….
…In fact, for about four fifths of its run, I had The Return of the King confidently filed as a masterpiece – a big, stirring orchestral epic of a movie, full of blood and heroism and sacrifice and soul. The trouble is that it is also hellishly long, frequently preposterous and as humourless as a cat. By the end I couldn’t help feeling that it had overstayed its welcome by a whisker. Loitering for a half-baked epilogue, it bows out with a whimper, not a bang.
‘The Guardian’ also has a more general cultural piece on an issue that’s long interested me: how ‘nerds’ have come to dominate the imagination of pop culture.