Review Detail

9.5 21 10
(Updated: September 17, 2012)
Review by Brumous — June 20, 2011 @ 10:50 pm

This is the shortest episode of the series, covering Sam and Frodo’s final approach to Mt. Doom followed by the endings to the entire series. It is surprising how fast the Mordor scenes go by, but they pack a lot of emotional punch. In Kerr’s reassembled version the travel itinerary is much clearer and the emotional arc is delivered with full force, uninterrrupted.

The original movie has 5 (or 6?) different endings to wrap things up, and I usually get antsy plowing through all of them. They are a big shift in tone and relatively dull after 3-plus hours of epic action. But set within this short episode, the endings are perfect. The bittersweet moods complement the Mordor scenes instead of competing with the Minas Tirath battle; they can shine instead of being washed out.

I like the deletion of the “eye” and its searchlight – even though it looks cool, it is too obvious a plot device. Without it, Sam and Frodo seem more deserted and desolate; the power of the ring seems more like a force of nature than a gimmick belonging to a fiery prison guard.

Rating for this episode: 10/10.
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