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The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Starring: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen
Director: Peter Jackson
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 178 Minutes
Release Date: December 2001
Genres: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action, Suspense

*Also starring: Sean Astin, Sean Bean, Cate Blanchett, Kevin Conway, Martin Csokas, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving, John Rhys-Davies, Andy Serkis

Review by Susan Granger
3½ stars out of 4

At last, the first installment of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic good-versus-evil adventure, "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," is here! Meticulously directed by Peter Jackson, this begins a mythic trilogy - with all three films made simultaneously over a year and a half. For the uninitiated, the plot revolves around Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), a tiny hobbit, who is entrusted with a mysterious ring when his elderly uncle, Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm), leaves the bucolic Shire. Forged of evil, the history of this powerful gold band reaches back to a time when men, elves and dwarves shared power over Middle-earth. Accompanied by his loyal friend Sam (Sean Astin), the wise wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), an elf (Orlando Bloom), a dwarf (John Rhys-Davies), and two warriors (Viggo Mortensen, Sean Bean), guileless Frodo begins a dangerous quest to return the ring to be destroyed in the fires of Mordor's Mountain of Doom. While Liv Tyler and Cate Blanchett lend elven support, there are many obstacles, particularly the dark powers which wicked Saruman (Christopher Lee) wields from Isengard, his Gothic fortress. There are terrifying, menacing creatures like Ringwraiths on horseback, Orc archers and - most impressively - a giant demon troll from the Mines of Moria. While avid fans debate the accuracy, I found it long and repetitive with garbled genealogies, confusing mythology and excessive violence for PG-13. But, visually, Grant Major's production design and the CGI effects are amazing: the Gollum, the alpine village of Rivendell, the Lothlorien forest, the crumbling bridge of Khazad-dum - all heralded by the Harold Shore's/Enya's sweeping music. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" is a scary, vivid, awesome 8, primarily for Tolkien devotees.

Copyright 2001 Susan Granger

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