Responding to a critique of The Return of the King

A critic on “Christian Science Monitor” reviewed the final installment of Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “The Return of the King”, as a 50 out of 100 on metacritic.com. The critic made three major claims. First, he claimed that Jackson’s transition of Tolkien’s story into “cinematic terms” was “uninspired”. Second, he claimed that the movie was too long and was unable to keep the excitement that he acknowledged in a few scenes consistent throughout the movie. Third, he claimed that, save for Ian McKellan and Andy Serkis, the acting was “dull”.

His score was by far the lowest on metacritic (the average score is 94), so clearly there must have been something astray in his analysis. The three points can be individually countered.

First, the film was clearly up to cinematic standards. The film won 11 Oscars, which are generally accepted as the most well-respected award in American Film. If the movie was “uninspired”, it could not have accomplished this.

Second, the movie was not too long. An enormous amount of people were willing to sit through the whole 3+ hours, and most were satisfied by it (as evidenced by the high score on metacritic).

As for the critic’s third point, many organizations that give awards for movies disagree with this, giving awards such as “Oustanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture” (Screen Actor’s Guild) and “Best Supporting Actor” (Seattle Film Critics – for Sean Astin).

The three points can be countered, so it stands the reason that this critic’s review was “uninspired”, rather than the movie itself.

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