This review contains spoilers.

I’m not a huge fan of Gimli being reduced to almost entirely comic relief, and the whole “Aragon is dead probably” fakeout feels like a bit of wasted time, but those are extremely minor complaints in a movie that does so much for me. It could’ve easily failed as the awkward middle chapter between the other movies, but this one more than manages to stand on its own, with an eerie, uncomfortable feeling that only gets deeper as it goes.

Favorite character: the orc marathon torch runner. Got the heart of a champion, that one.

Also Reviewed June 9, 2024
· ★★★★★

A few unorganized thoughts:

  • The effects for Gollum still run laps around most of modern-day CGI over 20 years later.
  • Nobody cheered for Legolas shield surfing and I think we’re lost as a society.
  • The Gimli comic relief moments land a bit better watching it with an audience that’s genuinely into it.
  • For as much as people rave about the visual design of these movies (and they do look incredible) I don’t think they get nearly enough praise for the sound/music design, which is every bit as impressive if you ask me.
  • The whole stretch from the last march of the Ents to the end of the movie is unbelievable. Movies like these are once in a lifetime and we got three.
  • Helm’s Deep. Man… Helm’s Deep.