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Viggo Mortensen: List of Movies, Films and TV Shows

  • Lord Of The Rings Trilogy (Theatrical Version) [Blu-ray] [2001] Lord Of The Rings Trilogy (Theatrical Version) | Blu Ray | (06/04/2010) from £9.99  |  Saving you £65.00 (86.70%)  |  RRP £74.99

    This spectacular trilogy - based on J.R.R. Tolkien's phenomenally successful epic novel - is comprised of three of the most successful and critically acclaimed movies ever made. Now available to buy for the first time in eye-popping high definition this is the one box set to rule them all! Finally for the first time all three original theatrical versions of The Lord Of The Rings come alive in high definition Blu-ray! See the epic trilogy the way it was meant to be seen with the complete box set containing The Fellowship Of The Ring The Two Towers and The Return Of The King! The Lord of the Rings Trilogy tells the story of Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) a hobbit who battles against the Dark Lord Sauron to save his world Middle-earth from the grip of evil. In the films Frodo and his fellowship of friends and allies embark on a desperate journey to rid Middle-earth of the source of Sauron's greatest strength the One Ring -- a ring that has the power to enslave the inhabitants of Middle-earth. The trilogy tells tales of extraordinary adventures across the treacherous landscape of Middle-earth and reveals how the power of friendship love and courage can hold the forces of darkness at bay. Beside Wood the films star Ian McKellen Liv Tyler Viggo Mortensen Sean Astin Cate Blanchett John Rhys-Davies Billy Boyd Dominic Monaghan Orlando Bloom Christopher Lee Hugo Weaving featuring Sean Bean and Ian Holm with Andy Serkis as Gollum. The films also star Marton Csokas Craig Parker and Lawrence Makaoare. The Lord Of The Rings - The Fellowship Of The Ring: In a time before history in a place called Middle-earth a dark and powerful lord has brought together the forces of evil to destroy its cultures and enslave all life caught in his path. Sauron's time has come and he needs only one small object - a Ring that has been lost for centuries - to snuff out the light of civilization and cover the world in darkness... The Lord Of The Rings - The Two Towers: The fellowship is now divided with Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Gimli (John-Rhys Davies) helping to restore some order to the land of King Theodon (Bernard Hill) whose mind has been poisoned by the machinations of Grima Wormtongue (Brad Dourif). Wormtongue is a secret emissary of wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee) now ready to unleash his army of the night on Middle-Earth. Meanwhile Frodo (Elijah Wood) is falling deeper under the dreaded influence of The Ring as he journeys with Sam (Sean Astin) towards Mordor... The Lord Of The Rings - The Return Of The King: The remnants of the Fellowship marshal their forces for one final attack as Hobbits Sam (Astin) and Frodo (Wood) are led by Gollum to Mount Doom in the hope of destroying the One Ring forever...

  • Daylight [Blu-ray] Daylight | Blu Ray | (24/01/2011) from £7.00  |  Saving you £10.99 (61.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Sylvester Stallone races against time to lead a group of stranded commuters out of a collapsed tunnel 100 ft below the Hudson River in a heart-poundingly intense thriller filled with spectacular special effects from director Rob Cohen.

  • Crimson Tide [1995] Crimson Tide | DVD | (06/11/2006) from £4.29  |  Saving you £13.70 (76.20%)  |  RRP £17.99

    No-nonsense combat veteran Captain Frank Ramsey (Hackman) and his newly instated first officer Ron Hunter (Washington) are caught in the middle of a global crisis. On board a nuclear submarine they're heading for Russia where radical nationalists are threatening to start World War III. But when they receive an unverified message to launch their missiles Ramsey and Hunter clash over the validity of the orders.

  • G.I. Jane [1997] G.I. Jane | DVD | (26/03/2001) from £3.00  |  Saving you £9.99 (76.90%)  |  RRP £12.99

    It seemed like a pretty good career move, and for the most part it was. Demi Moore will never top any rational list of great actresses, but as her career stalled in the mid-1990s she had enough internal fire and external physicality to be just right for her title role in G.I. Jane. Her character's name isn't Jane--it's Jordan O'Neil--but the fact that she lacks a penis makes her an immediate standout in her elite training squad of Navy SEALs. She's been recruited as the first female SEAL trainee through a series of backroom political manoeuvres and must prove her military staying power against formidable odds--not the least of which is the abuse of a tyrannical master chief (Viggo Mortensen) who puts her through hell to improve her chances of success. Within the limitations of a glossy star vehicle, director Ridley Scott manages to incorporate the women-in-military issue with considerable impact, and Moore--along with her conspicuous breast enhancements and that memorable head-shaving scene--jumps into the role with everything she's got. Not a great movie by any means, but definitely a rousing crowd pleaser and it's worth watching just to hear Demi shout the words "Suck my ----!!" (rhymes with "chick"). --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com

  • 28 Days [2000] 28 Days | DVD | (12/04/2004) from £2.74  |  Saving you £1.14 (19.00%)  |  RRP £5.99

    To appreciate 28 Days, it's best to be thankful that director Betty Thomas hasn't forced Sandra Bullock into a remake of Clean and Sober. Instead Thomas has balanced her comedic sensibility (evident in Dr. Dolittle and Private Parts) with the seriousness of alcoholism and substance abuse, and she succeeds without compromising the gravity of the subject matter. Some critics have scoffed at the movie's breezy, formulaic portrait of 27-year-old boozer and pill-popper Gwen Cummings (Bullock), but this smooth-running star vehicle does for Bullock what Erin Brockovich did for Julia Roberts, focusing her appeal in a substantial role without taxing the limits of her talent. It's no wonder that Susannah Grant (who wrote both films) was one of the hottest new screenwriters of 1999. She writes "Hollywood Lite" without insulting anyone's intelligence. As played by Bullock, Gwen is an alcoholic in denial whose latest bender with boozer boyfriend Jasper (Dominic West) ruins the wedding of her sister (Elizabeth Perkins) and lands her in a month-long rehab program with the requisite gang of struggling drunks and junkies. Newcomer Alan Tudyk steals his scenes as a gay German rehabber who might've dropped in from a Berlin performance-art exhibit, and Steve Buscemi aptly conveys the weary commitment of a counsellor who's seen it all. Thomas has surrounded Bullock with a sharp ensemble, and the addition of singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III (as a kind of Greek chorus crooner) is sublimely inspired. Certainly no surprises here--the warring sisters will reconcile, and at least one rehabber will fail to recover--but there's ample pleasure to be found in Bullock's finely tuned performance, and in Thomas's inclusion of flashbacks and tangents that add depth and laughter in just the right dosage. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com

  • The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy [DVD] The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy | DVD | (16/11/2015) from £12.99  |  Saving you £-0.99 (-8.30%)  |  RRP £12

    The Quest Is Over: All 3 Extended Versions in Dazzling 1080p and DTS HD-MA 6.1 Audio. Deluxe 15-Disc Set Includes 9 Special Features DVDs with over 26 Hours of Spellbinding Behind-the-Moviemaking Material Including the Rare Costa Botes Documentaries. THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING EXTENDED EDITION With the help of a courageous fellowship of friends and allies, Frodo embarks on a perilous mission to destroy the legendary One Ring. THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS EXTENDED EDITION In the middle chapter of this historic movie trilogy, the Fellowship is broken but its quest to destroy the One Ring continues. THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING EXTENDED EDITION The final battle for Middle-earth begins. Frodo and Sam, led by Gollum, continue their dangerous mission toward the fires of Mount Doom in order to destroy the One Ring.

  • The Road [DVD] [2009] The Road | DVD | (17/05/2010) from £2.99  |  Saving you £17.00 (85.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Post apocalyptic tale based on the bestselling novel by Cormac McCarthy (No Country For Old Men). A father and son travel on foot through a devastated American landscape battling both starvation and cannibals.

  • Captain Fantastic [DVD] Captain Fantastic | DVD | (23/01/2017) from £4.55  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    Deep in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, isolated from society, a devoted father (Viggo Mortensen) dedicates his life to transforming his six young children into extraordinary adults. But when a tragedy strikes the family, they are forced to leave this self-created paradise and begin a journey into the outside world that challenges his idea of what it means to be a parent and brings into question everything he's taught them.

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Extended Edition) [2002] The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Extended Edition) | DVD | (18/11/2003) from £6.98  |  Saving you £10.00 (50.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    With significant extra footage and a multitude of worthwhile bonus features this extended version of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is as colossal an achievement as its predecessor, The Fellowship of the Ring. There are valuable additions to the story, including two new scenes which might appease those who feel that the characterisation of Faramir was the film's most egregious departure from the book; fans will also appreciate an appearance of the Huorns at Helm's Deep plus a nod to the absence of Tom Bombadil. Seeing a little more interplay between the gorgeous Eowyn and Aragorn is welcome, as is a grim introduction to Eomer and Theoden's son. And among the many other additions, there's an extended epilogue that might not have worked in cinemas, but is more effective here in setting up The Return of the King. While the 30 minutes added to The Fellowship of the Ring felt just right in enriching the film, the extra footage in The Two Towers at times seems a bit extraneous--we see moments that in the theatrical version we had been told about, and some fleshed-out conversations and incidents are rather minor. But director Peter Jackson's vision of JRR Tolkien's world is so marvellous that it's hard to complain about any extra time we can spend there. While it may seem that there would be nothing left to say after the bevy of features on the extended Fellowship, the four commentary tracks and two discs of supplements on The Two Towers remain informative, fascinating, and funny, far surpassing the recycled materials on the two-disc theatrical version. Highlights of the 6.5 hours' worth of documentaries offer insight on the stunts, the design work, the locations and the creation of Gollum and--most intriguing for avid fans--the film's writers (including Jackson) discuss why they created events that weren't in the book. Providing variety are animatics, rough footage, countless sketches and a sound-mixing demonstration. Again, the most interesting commentary tracks are by Jackson and writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens and by 16 members of the cast (eight of whom didn't appear in the first film, and even including John Noble, whose Denethor character only appears in this extended cut). The first two instalments of Peter Jackson's trilogy have established themselves as the best fantasy films of all time, and among the best film trilogies of all time, and their extended-edition DVD sets have set a new standard for expanding on the already epic films and providing comprehensive bonus features. --David Horiuchi

  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 - Leatherface [1990] The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 - Leatherface | DVD | (26/04/2004) from £3.99  |  Saving you £16.00 (80.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Two friends begin a simple uneventful drive to Florida to deliver a car. But the trip soon becomes a voyage to hell when they hit the backroads of a barren Texas county and meet up with a monstrous serial killer. Through all the gore it's really a comedy...

  • Daylight [1996] Daylight | DVD | (02/05/2005) from £4.49  |  Saving you £5.50 (55.10%)  |  RRP £9.99

    This echo of 1970s disaster films stars Sylvester Stallone as the disgraced former head of New York City's Emergency Medical Services, a loser who is nevertheless a compulsive rescuer of people in danger. When the Holland Tunnel is sealed off after a fiery explosion and car passengers are trapped within, he goes inside and leads a group of survivors (a mixed group allegorically representing America's diversity) through all manner of pestilence toward safety. Directed by the imaginative Rob Cohen (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story), Daylight finds Stallone outrageously (and to almost campy effect) pushing the envelope of his martyr persona to near-religious levels. He throws himself, quite literally, into this part and between that entertainment factor and the unnervingly convincing effects, this is a pretty watchable film.--Tom Keogh

  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Extended Edition Box Set) The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Extended Edition Box Set) | DVD | (10/12/2004) from £22.49  |  Saving you £42.50 (65.40%)  |  RRP £64.99

    The extended editions of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings present the greatest trilogy in film history in the most ambitious sets in DVD history. In bringing J.R.R. Tolkien's nearly unfilmable work to the screen, Jackson benefited from extraordinary special effects, evocative New Zealand locales, and an exceptionally well-chosen cast, but most of all from his own adaptation with co-writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, preserving Tolkien's vision and often his very words, but also making logical changes to accommodate the medium of film. While purists complained about these changes and about characters and scenes left out of the films, the almost two additional hours of material in the extended editions (about 11 hours total) help appease them by delving more deeply into Tolkien's music, the characters, and loose ends that enrich the story, such as an explanation of the Faramir-Denethor relationship, and the appearance of the Mouth of Sauron at the gates of Mordor. In addition, the extended editions offer more bridge material between the films, further confirming that the trilogy is really one long film presented in three pieces (which is why it's the greatest trilogy ever--there's no weak link). The scene of Galadriel's gifts to the Fellowship added to the first film proves significant over the course of the story, while the new Faramir scene at the end of the second film helps set up the third and the new Saruman scene at the beginning of the third film helps conclude the plot of the second. To top it all off, the extended editions offer four discs per film: two for the longer movie, plus four commentary tracks and stupendous DTS 6.1 ES sound; and two for the bonus material, which covers just about everything from script creation to special effects. The argument was that fans would need both versions because the bonus material is completely different, but the features on the theatrical releases are so vastly inferior that the only reason a fan would need them would be if they wanted to watch the shorter versions they saw in theaters (the last of which, The Return of the King, merely won 12 Oscars). The LOTR extended editions without exception have set the DVD standard by providing a richer film experience that pulls the three films together and further embraces Tolkien's world, a reference-quality home theater experience, and generous, intelligent, and engrossing bonus features. --David Horiuchi

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Two Disc Theatrical Edition) [2002] The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Two Disc Theatrical Edition) | DVD | (26/08/2003) from £3.49  |  Saving you £11.50 (76.70%)  |  RRP £14.99

    With The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, the focus of Tolkien's epic story moves from the fantastic to the mythic, from magic and monsters towards men and their deeds, as the expanding panorama of Middle-earth introduces us to the Viking-like Riders of Rohan and the men of Gondor. Which is not to say that Peter Jackson's three-hour second instalment doesn't have its fair share of amazing new creatures--here we meet Wargs, Oliphaunts and winged Nazgul, to name three--just that the film is concerned more with myth-making on a heroic scale than the wide-eyed wonder of The Fellowship of the Ring. There's no time for recapitulation, as a host of new characters are introduced in rapid succession. In Rohan we meet the initially moribund King Theoden (Bernard Hill); his treacherous advisor Grima Wormtongue (Brad Dourif); his feisty niece Eowyn (Miranda Otto); and his strong-willed nephew Eomer (Karl Urban). Faramir (David Wenham), brother of Boromir, is the other principal human addition to the cast. The hobbits, though, encounter the two most remarkable new characters, both of whom are digitally generated: in Fangorn Forest, Merry and Pippin are literally carried away by Treebeard, a dignified old Ent; while Frodo and Sam capture the duplicitous Gollum, whose fate is inextricably intertwined with that of the Ring. The film stands or falls with Gollum. If the characterisation had gone the way of Jar Jar Binks, The Two Towers would have been ruined, notwithstanding all the spectacle and grandeur of the rest. But Gollum is a triumph, a tribute both to the computer animators and the motion-captured performance of Andy Serkis: his "dialogues", delivered theatre-like direct to the audience, are a masterstroke. Here and elsewhere Jackson is unafraid to make changes to the story line, bringing Frodo and Sam to Osgiliath, for example, or tipping Aragorn over a cliff. Yet the director's deft touch always seems to add not detract from Tolkien's vision. Just three among many examples: Aragorn's poignant dreams of Arwen (Liv Tyler); Gimli's comic repartee even in the heat of battle; and the wickedly effective siege weapons of the Uruk-Hai (which signify both Saruman's mastery and his perversion of technology). The climactic confrontation at Helm's Deep contains images the like of which have simply never been seen on film before. Almost unimaginably, there's so much more still to come in the Return of the King. On the DVD: The Two Towers two-disc set, like the Fellowship before it, features the theatrical version of the movie on the first disc, in glorious 2.35:1 widescreen, accompanied by Dolby 5.1 or Dolby Stereo sound options. As before, commentaries and the really in-depth features are held back for the extended four-disc version. Such as they are, all the extras are reserved for Disc Two. The 14-minute documentary On the Set is a run-of-the-mill publicity preview for the movie; more substantial is the 43-minute Return to Middle-Earth, another promotional feature, which at least has plenty of input from cast and crew. Much more interesting are the briefer pieces, notably: Sean Astin's charming silent short The Long and the Short of It, plus an amusing making-of featurette; a teaser trailer for the extended DVD release; and a tantalising 12-minute sneak peek at Return of the King, introduced by Peter Jackson, in which he declares nonchalantly that "Helm's Deep was just an opening skirmish"! --Mark Walker

  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy - The Extended Edition  [Blu-ray] The Lord of the Rings Trilogy - The Extended Edition | Blu Ray | (27/06/2011) from £20.50  |  Saving you £68.49 (77.00%)  |  RRP £88.99

    Finally for the first time all three extended editions of The Lord Of The Rings come alive in high definition Blu-ray! See the epic trilogy the way it was meant to be seen with the complete re-mastered box set containing The Fellowship Of The Ring The Two Towers and The Return Of The King! The Lord of the Rings Trilogy tells the story of Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) a hobbit who battles against the Dark Lord Sauron to save his world Middle-earth from the grip of evil. In the films Frodo and his fellowship of friends and allies embark on a desperate journey to rid Middle-earth of the source of Sauron's greatest strength the One Ring -- a ring that has the power to enslave the inhabitants of Middle-earth. The trilogy tells tales of extraordinary adventures across the treacherous landscape of Middle-earth and reveals how the power of friendship love and courage can hold the forces of darkness at bay. The Lord Of The Rings - The Fellowship Of The Ring: In a time before history in a place called Middle-earth a dark and powerful lord has brought together the forces of evil to destroy its cultures and enslave all life caught in his path. Sauron's time has come and he needs only one small object - a Ring that has been lost for centuries - to snuff out the light of civilization and cover the world in darkness... The Lord Of The Rings - The Two Towers: The fellowship is now divided with Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Gimli (John-Rhys Davies) helping to restore some order to the land of King Theodon (Bernard Hill) whose mind has been poisoned by the machinations of Grima Wormtongue (Brad Dourif). Wormtongue is a secret emissary of wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee) now ready to unleash his army of the night on Middle-Earth. Meanwhile Frodo (Elijah Wood) is falling deeper under the dreaded influence of The Ring as he journeys with Sam (Sean Astin) towards Mordor... The Lord Of The Rings - The Return Of The King: The remnants of the Fellowship marshal their forces for one final attack as Hobbits Sam (Astin) and Frodo (Wood) are led by Gollum to Mount Doom in the hope of destroying the One Ring forever...

  • The Reflecting Skin [DVD] The Reflecting Skin | DVD | (14/03/2016) from £7.99  |  Saving you £10.00 (55.60%)  |  RRP £17.99

    A brand new fully restored print of Philip Ridley's cult classic. As mysterious deaths plague a small prairie town, young Seth (Jeremy Cooper) comes to believe that the pale, reclusive widow living next door (Lindsay Duncan, Birdman) is a vampire. Seth's worst nightmare comes true when his older brother Cameron (Viggo Mortensen, The Lord Of The Rings) returns home from abroad and falls in love with the widow - will he be next? But the truth behind the murders is much more shocking than Seth could ever imagine.

  • Psycho [1999] Psycho | DVD | (01/01/1999) from £3.00  |  Saving you £6.99 (70.00%)  |  RRP £9.99

    Numerous critics had already sharpened their knives even before Gus Van Sant's shot-for-shot colour "re-creation" of the 1960 black-and-white Hitchcock classic was released, chiding the Good Will Hunting director for defiling hallowed ground. But this intriguing cinematic curiosity is hardly as sacrilegious as critics would lead you to believe. If anything, Van Sant doesn't take enough liberties with his almost slavish devotion to the material, now updated with modern references. At times, you wish Van Sant would cut loose with a little spontaneity, a little energy, a little something. Unfortunately, when he does venture outside Hitchcock's parameters--with inserted shots of storm clouds during the murder sequences, for example--it's to little effect. Granted, he liberally splashes colour throughout the film (especially in the case of the infamous shower scene), and this is a great-looking movie, but in his obsession with adding a new physical dimension to the film, there's little insight into these characters that Hitchcock hadn't already provided. Vince Vaughn, a robotic and giggly Norman, doesn't crawl under your skin the way boy-next-door Anthony Perkins did, and Anne Heche is admirable if not very sympathetic in the Janet Leigh role. Van Sant does score a minor coup, though, in his casting of the supporting roles: Julianne Moore provides a welcome shot of energy as Heche's irritable and curious sister, William H. Macy is a perfect small-time detective, Viggo Mortensen is studly enough to make you understand why Heche would want to run away with him, and James LeGros walks away with his one brief scene as a used car salesman. Danny Elfman's gorgeous rerecording of Bernard Herrmann's score is a potent supporting character unto itself. Students and fans of the original film will get a kick out of the modern revisions, but don't expect anything of Hitchcockian calibre; watch it for the sum of its intriguing parts, but not the whole. --Mark Englehart, Amazon.com

  • Eastern Promises [2007] Eastern Promises | DVD | (25/02/2008) from £4.49  |  Saving you £15.50 (77.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    The film follows the mysterious and ruthless Nikolai (Viggo Mortensen) who is tied to one of London's most notorious organized crime families. His carefully maintained existence is jarred when he crosses paths with Anna (Naomi Watts) an innocent midwife who accidentally uncovers potential evidence against the family. Now Nikolai must put into motion a harrowing chain of murder deceit and retribution.

  • Prison [Blu-ray] Prison | Blu Ray | (10/10/2016) from £8.19  |  Saving you £9.80 (54.50%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Thirty years after frying its last prisoner, Charlie Forsythe, Creedmore Prison is open for business once more. Problem is, Charlie still haunts the joint and is looking for vengeance on its warden, Eaton Sharpe (Lane Smith, Air America), who framed Charlie and watched as he was juiced for a crime he did not commit. Amongst the new inmates is Burke (Viggo Mortensen, The Lord of the Rings) who soon realises that if the prisoners don't help exact revenge, they too will face the wrath of Charlie Forsythe. From acclaimed action director Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2: Die Harder) comes this underappreciated gem of 80s horror. Featuring bravado FX work from John Carl Buechler (Friday the 13th VII: The New Blood) and stunt work from Jason Voorhees himself, Kane Hodder, Prison finally returns to UK screens, in glorious widescreen, thanks to the gore hounds at 88 Films!

  • Captain Alatriste - The Spanish Musketeer [DVD] Captain Alatriste - The Spanish Musketeer | DVD | (19/09/2011) from £3.69  |  Saving you £9.30 (71.60%)  |  RRP £12.99

    Viggo Mortensen stars as Captain Alatriste, the Spanish Musketeer, in this tale of war, betrayal and intrigue in seventeenth-century Imperial Spain under the reign of the weak and easily manipulated King Felipe IV. Alatriste has returned to Spain to find it a very different place and life is not what it once was. As a last wish to a dying friend he agrees to take charge of the young Inigo Balboa (Unax Ugalde) and protect him from both a military career and the Machiavellian woman whom he desperately loves. Witness the adventures of Captain Alatriste as he endures great love and hatred intertwined with momentous battles and duels set in the epic backdrop of the sprawling Spanish Empire.

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Two Disc Theatrical Edition) [2003] The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Two Disc Theatrical Edition) | DVD | (25/05/2004) from £2.49  |  Saving you £12.10 (80.70%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, triumphantly completed by the 11-Oscar-winning The Return of the King, sets out to show that Tolkien's epic work, once derided as mere adolescent escapism, is not just fodder for the best mass entertainment spectacle ever seen on the big screen, but is also replete with emotionally satisfying meditations on the human condition. What is the nature of true friendship? What constitutes real courage? Why is it important for us to care about people living beyond our borders? What does it mean to live in harmony with the environment and what are the consequences when we do not? When is war justifiable and when is it not? What things are really worth fighting for? These are the questions that resonate with a contemporary audience: to see our current social and political concerns mirrored--and here finally resolved--in Middle-earth is to recognise that Jackson's Lord of the Rings is both a parable for our times and magical cinematic escapism. As before, in this concluding part of the trilogy the spectacle never dwarfs (sic) the characters, even during Shelob the spider's pitiless assault, for example, or the unparalleled Battle of the Pelennor Fields, where the white towers of Minas Tirith come under ferocious attack from Troll-powered siege weapons and--in a sequence reminiscent of the Imperial Walkers in The Empire Strikes Back--Mammoth-like Mumakil. The people and their feelings always remain in focus, as emphasised by Jackson's sensitive small touches: Gandalf reassuring a terrified Pippin in the midst of battle that death is not to be feared; Frodo's blazing anger at Sam's apparent betrayal; Faramir's desire to win the approval of his megalomaniac father; Gollum's tragic cupidity and his final, heartbreaking glee. And at the very epicentre of the film is the pure heart of Samwise Gamgee--the real hero of the story. At over three hours, there are almost inevitably some lulls, and the film still feels as if some key scenes are missing: a problem doubtless to be rectified in the extended DVD edition. But the end, when it does finally arrive--set to Howard Shore's Wagnerian music score--brings us full circle, leaving the departing audience to wonder if they will ever find within themselves even a fraction of the courage of a hobbit. --Mark Walker

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