"The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring" is the first instalment of the long awaited $600 million dollar trilogy shot in scenic New Zealand. The film has certainly been surrounded by a lot of hype worldwide & on my first attempt to see it I was told it was a full house & that I would have to come back later. I anxiously came back to see it three days later, but unfortunately I was somewhat disappointed. For me the film didn't live up to its reputation.
Firstly, the film was much too long. At three hours running time I felt that it could have easily been trimmed down to a more comfortable 2hrs. Secondly, although the special effects & cinematography were outstanding & the New Zealand scenery was beautiful, I still felt that too many of the scenes were set at night & had a dark & dingy look about them. Thirdly, the action scenes were predominately filmed in close up & the editing was too fast. It was difficult to get a good look at what was really happening & it did not have that swash-buckle sword & sandal feel. Finally the film lacked real character development & had an unsatisfactory conclusion. I know there are two sequels to come but I still feel that the ending was incomplete & rather flat.
The plot revolves around a quest to destroy an ancient ring with ultimate power. The safety of mankind depends on a fellowship of nine people, who are given the task of destroying the ring before it falls into the wrong hands. The Lord of The Rings could be described as a medieval Star Wars. Some of the parallels are as follows, Elijah Wood like Mark Hamill in Star Wars is the youth on a mission, Ian McKellen like Alec Guinness is the wise old man guiding the youth, Viggo Mortensen like Harrison Ford is the fighting hero helping the youth in his quest, Liv Tyler like Carrie Fisher is the princess, while Christopher Lee is the Darth Vader of the piece. I also feel that the talented Liv Tyler was wasted in her small role, lets hope that she plays a bigger part in the next two sequels.
The Lord of The Rings has already made a killing at the box office & looks set to break all records. Parts 2 & 3 are to be released in 2002 & 2003 respectively. The special effects are first-rate & are a feast for the eyes but I still believe that the story could have been told in a shorter time span & it needed more elements of comedy & romance that would of enhanced character development & viewer enjoyment. All in all The Lord of The Rings is well worth seeing, particularly on the big screen, but ultimately disappointing.