The first part of the famous trilogy sees a young Hobbit come into possession of a powerful ring, with which anyone can rule all the earth. Since absolute power corrupts absolutely, as proved by the history of the ring, the community decides it must be destroyed. The only place to destroy it is in the fires in which it was made, and so the Hobbit, a wizard, and a group of warriors and friends begin the hazardous journey to the distant and dangerous origin of the ring. Along the way they have to overcome many obstacles, from nature to assorted nasties.
176 minutes, No persons under 10 (Violence)
Fantasy, Adventure, Action, Drama, Male conflict & bonding
Ian Douglas: I have already seen some rave reviews for this movie, so once again I am probably in the minority or missed the point
or whatever... On the plus side, the film features truly spectacular scenery -- I'm not sure what was real and what was computer-generated --
and really impressive special effects. As such, it does a good job on the Fantasy/Adventure aspect. The sound effects are also
very impressive (Sensaround?), so be sure to see this in a cinema with a decent sound system. However, as another reviewer noted,
as this is fantasy, some of the dialogue is really silly (like when discussing elves and orcs etc) and it is to the actors' credit
that they could deliver the lines without laughing and without the audience cracking up either. So why did I only give it an Average
rating? Well, the positive bits are let down by the storyline, which is nothing but a road movie set in great settings and with
weird enemies. And the ending is a real let-down, but I suppose it makes sense as it is just the first part of a trilogy. There are
also Plot Puzzles such as what's the use of having a powerful wizard along and then still having to rely on swords to defend yourself? Perhaps the book does a better job
of dealing with these issues.
Anyway, regardless of the critical opinions, people will still rush to see this. I guess it will be one of those movies which
everyone expects you to have seen, like E.T. or Star Wars or Gladiator... So enjoy...
Addendum: Since I have already picked up some flack for my comments above, I'll elaborate a bit more: The film has merit, but
I found it somewhat boring. I measure boredom in a movie by how many times I look at my cellphone to see how much longer till the
end. Violet was even more bored than me, frequently checking the time and squirming in her seat. I know that TLOTR series has a lot
of fans, who will know doubt love the movie. Their frame of reference is different to mine. I evaluate the movie as a stand-alone
movie, not in terms of ''how well did it portray the book'', which is irrelevant to me. A few days after the preview, I heard of
a journalist from a leading Cape Town daily who did not want to write his review for the film, as he did not like it, and was
probably expecting flack for expressing a negative opinion. Just because 80% of the people like something doesn't mean that the
other 20% have to too...
Colleen van Rooyen (39): I saw this movie having read the entire set of books several times through the years
It is very obvious to me that the reviewer above has never read the books.
Also I thought that the dialogue was hardly silly, considering how true it was to the book... and because so many of
the creatures belong in fantasy/mythology surely the dialogue is one tool used by the scriptwriter to fill in the
audience (mostly those who know nothing about the background not having read the book). This movie is very true to the
scenes described in J.R.R. Tolkien's magnificent tale and it is not likely that anyone who has read it, will be disappointed.
Doug Foulkes (39): Having waited for this movie for about 10 years I can only say I wasn't disappointed. A magnificent
and believable account of middle earth. Superb sets, spine tingling sounds, breathtaking effects and the coolest elf,
Legolas, you've ever seen (or imagined!!) Jackson has done Tolkien fans proud!
Carlos Menezes: Excellent visualisation of Tolkien's most famous work. Finally, a much hyped movie that finally does more
than merely deliver. Anti-fantasy fans probably will be blind (due to being too stubborn) to the beauty. Everyone else will be breathless.
Reyaaz Hassan (28): Expectation was very high-what with the term ''Movie of the Millenium'' already coined for it. I absoloutely
loved it. Walked out with a huge smile on my face. I have a similar yardstick to Ian's for measuring movie boredom -- and not
once was the digital clock looked at. Jackson has done Tolkien AND Movie fans proud. You know the feeling you get when an
epic is done well -- well that's LOR. Escape to Middle Earth for 3 hours. Teeny Teeny gripe -- with all the hype about
the Kiwi location (which is spectacular), I found myself unfortunately casting my mind to the confined space of New Zealand,
instead of the planetary expanse of Middle Earth. And Yes, Legolas was the coolest.
Silvia Ludwig (30): This was an excellent film. It had beautiful scenery, fantastic costumes and special effects. The
actors were well cast and the characters they portrayed were well done. I thoroughly enjoyed this film and will be
seeing this film again! It is a film to have as a collectors item!
Alex Bond-Smith (54): Good special effects but silly story line, very boring and veeery long with no ending at all.
Will not bother with sequel/s to find out what happens.
George Battye (29): This is an epic quest, the first story of a genre that really tried to do everything. With all of the
derivitive work that has come since I guess it is difficult for 'outsiders' to appreciate the story fully without considering
it clichéd. Appreciating the movie for what it is, and for its ground-breaking portrayal of a truly first class
story is difficult for anyone who can not put the story into context. TLOTR, in this interpretation, is very detailed and is
a great visualisation of the original story. If it's not your kind of story, then don't even bother seeing it.
But if you have any affinity for the mythical tales and settings of orcs and elves and so on, then this is a
great movie and well worth seeing.
Mark Farr (31): While much seems to be being made about the 'those who have read the book' versus 'those who have not' and
the beginnings showing of an almost condescending view from those who have, I am one of those who has read the book/s
(I usually include The Hobbit - even if you choose to see LOTR as one book) more than a few times and was still not overly
impressed. I really wanted to like this film so badly, still do, that's partly why it still scores highly with me. Perhaps
it is a bit of a no-win situation for the director. Too much like the book and you risk losing those who haven't read it,
not enough like the book and you risk upsetting those who have. The thing is, despite being one of the 'those who have', I
prefer to rate a film as just that -- a film. One cannot expect a reviewer of a film to give extra credit to a film merely
because it was based on a very good book. As a film, while the scenery was breathtaking, and most of the special effects
awesome, there were some scenes that had, for me, a rather plastic feel to them and prevented me from being drawn completely
into the film. I cannot believe that everyone who has read the book, will enjoy it. If anything, having read the book a
film is based on invariably lessens the film experience. While I did enjoy the film, I believe most Tolkien fans will
have something or other about the film they would like to see differently as the medium of film cannot hold a candle to
the furtive imagination of the devoted reader.
Monique Lamon (23): Excellent scenes and a fantastic story.
Pieter Rousseau (22): Absolutely awesome. The sort of movie that had hobbits and elves running around in my head the first night I saw this. Whether youve read / havent read the book, youve got to see this movie. If you're remotely interested in myths and legends then this movie will surely make your heart beat faster. If you dont know the story, get a friend to tell you the basic plotline otherwise you will be disappointed and confused with the ending. A brilliant movie, definitely a collectors item, and I cant wait for December 2002 !
Grant Lawrence (29): I am one of those who has read and loved the book but doesn't consider himself a ''hard core'' fan (i.e. au fait with all the minutiae of Middle-earth, Hobbit genealogies etc). I thought the film was stunning and very fiathful to the book. Yes, parts were left out and the plot had to be telescoped because film is essentially the wrong medium to capture the epic genre, but nevertheless it held my attention, spell-bound for over three hours - asure sign of a great film. It seemed over too quickly. For those who are unaware of the whole plot, the ending must seem strange - but then so did Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. In the middle of a Trilogy there is no necessary climax and plot resolution. The first part/book of LOTR ends on an anticlimax, so the film had too as well.
Jessica Lynn (15): I have loved the books for a long while. They did a very nice job of sticking close to the story, I
love it! Plus they chose very good actors to play the parts.
Francois du Plessis (30): I will start off by saying that I have read the books. Jackson did an admirable job of staying
true-ish to the story, given a 'short' run time of 176 minutes and budget constraints.
The acting was rather poor, with only Wood, McKellan, Holm and Mortensen delivering. Fortunately they are the main
characters of the storyline. The forced 'comic' roles of the Merry and Pippin characters (Monaghan and Boyd) also grated.
Casting Saruman (Lee) as the main protagonist was also a bad choice. In the book, the perceived menace of Sauron and the
nine was much greater than the real menace of the wizard. On the plus side, the scenery, props and integration between computer imagery and
live footage was perfect. Had a little less time been spent on Isengrad and more time on Lorien, I would have been happier
though. Casting Hugo Weaving as Elrond had me giggling the whole time the fellowship was in Rivendell. I kept on expecting him
to end his sentences with ''...Mr. Anderson''.
In closing: having also seen Star Wars back when it came out, you have to see the bigger picture. A New Hope had me wanting for
more, since so little of the whole plot was revealed. The same can be said for The Fellowship of the Ring. Having read the books
or not should not make a difference, once the whole trilogy has been viewed. Like Star Wars, LotR will be hailed as
a 'must see' classic for generations to come.
Amanda Petersom (16): I know they did not go with the book. But I think this is one of they only book/movies that I have seen come
together so well. They did a great jobh with all so far and I can't wait to see what happened next.
Tanya Claxton (24): This movie was very satisfying to watch although a little long-winded. The special effects were good and
the cast well chosen. The overall ''feel'' was true to the fantasy genre.