Plot/Summary: Join Frodo and the Fellowship as they embark on a journey to destroy the powerful One Ring. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is the first installment of the famed trilogy. With it being the introductory chapter, Peter Jackson attempts to establish a “good vs. evil” plot within a gigantic and intricate universe. The One Ring, handed down to Frodo, must be destroyed to ensure that its creator, Sauron, will never rule over Middle-earth again. As Frodo and his eight companions set out they are overtaken and divided by Sauron’s evil minions. Frodo, along with his close friend Sam, decide to make the journey alone after the Fellowship falls. 8.0/10
Characterization: The Fellowship of the Ring has a tremendous ensemble cast and as with any movie that includes many characters, it is difficult to establish each person and give them a good character arc. The majority of this movie focuses on Frodo, Gandalf, and a lot of exposition. Although there are some exciting action sequences, this movie spends most of its time introducing us to the world and people of Middle-earth. With a 2 hour and 58 minute runtime (and even longer if you watch the extended edition) The Fellowship, like most first installments, is a set up for the next movie. 7.0/10
Cinematography: Obviously cinematography is an aspect of the Fellowship that is hard to criticize, especially when the Academy awarded the Fellowship of the Ring with the Best Cinematography Oscar in 2002. Peter Jackson and his team took on a daunting task of bringing this immense world to life and they were able to do so by filming on site in beautiful New Zealand. I have watched this film many times in standard definition, but I was able to rewatch it in Blu-ray and The Fellowship of the Ring still holds up wonderfully. 9/10
Conclusion: I have to put my love for Tolkien and his works aside as I write this review. I, like many other fans, love that this movie made it to production and that it was very successful. However, when I rewatch the film (trying to be as unbiased as possible) there are some flaws with the plot and the overall pacing of the film. Obviously it is difficult to explain (even in a 3 hour film) every aspect of this story, so I understand how some who have never read Tolkien’s works could be confused and have many questions. With that said, I hope that Jackson’s interpretation will inspire people to pick up the book and read it for themselves. The Fellowship of the Ring proved that other fantasy novels could be successful as films (Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and others). With groundbreaking cinematography and a classic storyline, The Fellowship is a fantastic beginning to an impressive trilogy.
Final Score: 8/10