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Last On Rotk


I’ve finally gotten around to reading Jonathan Last’s thumbs-down review of the Return of the King at the Weekly Standard’s website (where you can still find my review of Human Accomplishment by the way). I think he makes some good points and, as I mentioned in my review, I agree with him on the pacing issue. ROTK definitely feels rushed. And I think he’s probably right about how many reviewers are overcompensating for their dismissive attitude towards the first two installments. But I think Last is mistaken when he confuses the seriousness of the last installment — notably Aragorn’s loss of humor — with failed writing. These are dark times in Middle Earth and the opportunities for levity should rightly be fewer. Indeed, I think that’s Lat’s biggest mistake over all. Seeing each movie as an independent film. They weren’t shot that way or written that way. And I suspect that when seen as one giant 14 hour movie (especially with the restored scenes in ROTK which I hear from reliable sources are awesome) a lot of Last’s critiques will seem misplaced.


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