A murder inside the Louvre and clues in Da Vinci paintings lead to the discovery of a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two thousand years — which could shake the foundations of Christianity. (IMDb)
Everyone likes a good treasure hunt, and the one here intrigues from the beginning (a murdered man’s cryptic last words), with a fugitive plot adding extra urgency and excitement, even if Hanks and Tautou don’t wow. But as the clues and twists pile up and the pivotal secret is elaborated upon ad nauseum (the exposition gets excruciating) it all starts to just “sound so stupid”, to quote the film’s Sophie. What began as a decent adventure thriller becomes bloated and self-important schlock.
Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron’s army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring. (IMDb)
The lengthy final battle takes away from some character work, but it’s undeniably epic, with its dizzying camerawork (see the flying rock perspective), artful editing (the montage with Pippin’s song is perfect), awesome action (see the elephant take-downs), and a memorable one-liner or two (“I am no man!”). Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam’s more focused and torturous journey adds some welcome emotion, added to further in the moving final few scenes (see the bow to the hobbits and the tearful farewell).
A meek hobbit of the Shire and eight companions set out on a journey to Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring and the dark lord Sauron. (IMDb)
The mix of breathtaking bird’s eye pans and intense facial close-ups here showcase a layered tale that’s as much of a heartfelt character drama as a grand fantasy epic, with as many internal battles as external ones, and pleasant bits of humour from the homey hobbits sprinkled amongst the haughty and thick war talk that keep the narrative from melodramatic cliches. Excellent acting, music, and time-tested special effects ensure that this wonderful story’s film adaptation won’t soon be forgotten.