The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Review

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring movie posterSynopsis
The hobbit Frodo (Elijah Woods) is tasked with heading to Mordor to destroy the One Ring, a powerful relic, so it cannot be used by the evil Sauron to conquer Middle Earth.

Review
I can still picture the looks on people’s faces when I told them I hadn’t seen The Lord of the Rings films. I feel like it was the same look I gave people when they said they hadn’t seen Star Wars. But with the insistence of my buddy, I finally sat down and watched The Lord of the Rings series, and no longer have to worry about receiving those looks again. We of course started with The Fellowship of the Ring.

Right off the bat the film put a smile on my face. The opening was so much fun! Knowing that the characters are going to have a long journey ahead of them, Gandalf and the hobbits are introduced in a large celebration. This made it clear that although the scale of these films are grand, there is going to be some fun along the way. I especially liked Pippin and Merry’s introduction as mischievous hobbits when they took some of Gandalf’s magic fireworks.

Many of the core characters were well cast. Ian McKellen was particularly perfect as the wizard Gandalf. His experience added a lot of weight to the film, and you know that Peter Jackson wants to do the source material right. I liked Orlando Bloom as the elf Legolas. I’m not familiar with Viggo Mortensen but he was good as Aragorn. However, the most surprising to me was John Rhys-Davies as the dwarf Gimli. He was funnier than I was expecting and was great as the comedic relief.

There is only one way to describe the score composed by Howard Shore: epic. I’m not very familiar with his works but I loved his score for The Fellowship of the Ring. Shore’s score is so dynamic and moving. This is up there with John William’s Star Wars score or Jurassic Park score in terms of building emotion.

It seems more and more today that movies opt for CGI for their sets and characters instead of make-up or physical sets. When a film minimizes its use of CGI and goes with more practical effects, it is such a breath of fresh air. All the sets, from the Shire to Mordor, were absolutely beautiful. Each facet of the set design was breathtaking. Even more impressive were the costumes and make-up. The details given to the orcs especially was wonderful. It is tough to find that much attention to detail in costume design.

Now with all that praise I just gave the film, there were still several things I didn’t like about it. For one, there is a lot of set up for the over-arching narrative of the series. A great deal of time is spent bringing all the members of the fellowship together, as well as setting up the supporting characters that will be seen throughout the trilogy. These characters spent a lot of time giving the audience the information they need through exposition. They also spent time traveling between meeting each major character. Things didn’t really get exciting until towards the end.

It is easy to tell this is part of a larger series. Like I said above, there is a lot of character set up. Also, despite feeling like an epic story, the scale was also kind of small. Normally I don’t like when films aren’t very self contained, even if they are part of a series. However, since it is an adaptation of such a beloved series, I’m willing to loosen up a bit.

I thought The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was OK :-|. Much of the movie is spent getting to know the characters, which is good because a lot is learned about them. But this means that the movie only picks up near the end. Hopefully this means that the next film will hit the ground running.

Also check out my reviews for the rest of The Lord of the Rings trilogy: The Two Towers and The Return of the King.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Peter Jackson – Director / Screenplay
Fran Walsh – Screenplay
Philippa Boyens – Screenplay
Howard Shore – Composer

Elijah Wood – Frodo
Sean Astin – Sam
Viggo Mortensen – Aragorn
Orlando Bloom – Legolas
Ian McKellen – Gandalf
John Rhys-Davies – Gimli
Billy Boyd – Pippin
Dominic Monaghan – Merry
Sean Bean – Boromir
Christopher Lee – Saruman
Andy Serkis – Gollum (voice)
Hugo Weaving – Elrond
Liv Tyler – Arwem
Marron Csokas – Celeborn
Cate Blanchett – Galandrie
Ian Holm – Bilbo
Sala baker – Sauron
Alan Howard – Voice of the Ring (voice)
Brent McIntyre – Witch-king
Mark Ferguson – Gil-galad
Lawrence Makoare – Lurtz
Peter McKenzie – Elendil

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Review

  1. Glad you got a chance to check these out! I was super obsessed with these movies in high school but haven’t watched them in a while. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found I tend to gravitate towards sci-fi a lot more than fantasy. Still, these are good movies, with great music and special effects. I also appreciate when film makers use practical effects as much as possible.

    Like

    • The soundtrack for this series is one of my absolute favorites. I’ve found that sci-fi and fantasy tend to be very similar; they are two sides of the same coin. Sci-fi could almost be considered a sub-version of fantasy. So it’s no surprise you have started shifting that way.

      Practical effects are so much better than most CGI versions of the same thing. Look at how much better Episode VII looked than most of the entire prequel trilogy! Or Mad Max: Fury Road!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. nice review Drew. Glad u finally saw this. Truth is this is my fave of the 3 because of the character development and the “lighter” feel of the films of the trilogy.

    Like

    • Thanks. Me too. 🙂 It definitely is lighter but for me, I was drawn to the larger action sequences of the next two films, so that’s why I like those better. Still, it’s a great start to the series.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s