This trilogy is so well-made and possesses such magnificence of spirit
that it
seems truly churlish to wish that it was better — but I do. It is,
nevertheless, faut de mieux, the great epic film of our time — the
embodiment of the all-but-hopeless struggle just beginning against the
corporate control and perversion of all human life and an image of the
inevitable victory of humane culture in that struggle. Its faults are
primarily the faults of the book — a very vague appreciation of female
power, a coziness that avoids the true terror and complexity of the
genuine epics that inspired it, an avalanche of dazzling invention that
only rarely rises to the level of authentic enchantment. (The second film
of the series,
The Two Towers, is the best of the lot, if you only
have time for one of them.) But its heart is in the right place, its
moral sense steady and true. Mordor is on the march — time to set the
beacon fires. I'll light one if you will.