GENRE: Fantasy, Action, Adventure RATING: PG-13 for extreme violence and nightmarish creatures STARRING: Elijah Wood ("Deep Impact"ÃÂ and "Flipper"), Ian McKellen ("X-Men" and "Last Action Hero"), Viggo Mortensen ("GI Jane"), Orlando Bloom ("Black Hawk Down") and Liv Tyler ("Armageddon" and "That Thing You Do!"ÃÂ) STORY: The most famous line in JRR Tolkien's masterpiece novel trilogy Lord of the Rings has got to be "One Ring to rule them all"ÃÂ¦"ÃÂ But what does that mean, you ask? It'd take too long to explain that, but the first few minutes of the movie clears that up, in case you don't know your ring history. To make a really long story a bit briefer, about 3,000 years after this super evil dude name Sauron got "The Ring"ÃÂ chopped off his hand, which supposedly killed him, a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins found it in a cave. He learned that it has the power to turn its wearer invisible, but every time you put it on, it make you desire it even more.
One day, a good wizard name Gandalf (McKellen) came to celebrate Bilbo's 111th birthday with a bunch of other hobbits. Later Gandalf learns Bilbo is leaving the Shire (a big chunk of land where a lot of hobbits live). The old wizard suggests he leave the Ring with Frodo (Wood), Bilbo's kindly nephew for safekeeping. After a while, Gandalf finds out that the Ring is a magical evil ring created by Sauron to give himself immense powers. They think they're ok, except that Sauron's spirit still lives and he's trying his hardest to find the Ring. The only way they can destroy the Ring and thus stop Sauron's attempts to destroy Middle-Earth is to chuck it into the fiery volcano Fire Mountain where it was made. This becomes their mission. Frodo is accompanied by three of his hobbit friends as they head for a certain inn and Gandalf says he'll meet them there. It is here that they meet a ranger named Strider, who quickly wins their trust. After they nearly get killed by a few black-cloaked monsters called "wraiths"ÃÂ (evil creatures who used to be human kings; also known as "Dark Riders"), and Frodo is stabbed by one of their swords, they meet a beautiful elfin woman named Arwen (Tyler). After Arwen takes him to her peoples' city and he is healed there, Frodo tells everyone at a secret meeting that he intends to be the one to destroy the Ring. But not without help. Frodo is joined by his three hobbit friends, Gandalf, Strider, Gimli a dwarf, an elfin archer named Legolas (Bloom) and another human male with a big shield and a sword. These nine individuals make up what is named the "Fellowship"ÃÂ, and they head for Fire Mountain. After defeating a big group of goblins, a cave troll and making it out of the Mines of Moria with all members of the Fellowship minus Gandalf who was taken by a fire demon, they finally find themselves battling an army of orcs. Apparently, orcs are elves who have become really evil and their physical appearances altered so that they have long slimy hair, dark malefic eyes, ugly teeth and skin of an evil shade of blue. Strider, Legolas the human warrior, and Gimli fight off the orcs proficiently with their weapons, while Frodo and the other hobbits pretty much just hide. Finally the orcs are defeated, but one member of the Fellowship dies and you"ÃÂll just have to watch it to find out who. Lastly, Frodo and one of his hobbit friends ventures off alone to destroy the Ring, which will be continued in the next movie The Two Towers coming out next Christmas! THE RIGHT STUFF: The weapon designs are especially cool; Legolas' bow folds up and he stores it in a special sheath on his back next to his arrow quiver. The costumes are pretty neat looking too.
BAD KARMA: Well, they did take some liberties from the book, changed a few things and did remove some parts of the book. Otherwise it'd be even longer than three hours! The elves' ears are normal sized, and against their heads, and all the other elves I've seen in other fantasy stories have long ears that stick out from their heads (and no, contrary to the popular Santa Claus type elves, they are not really short, old looking people!) Also, their versions of orcs look much different than the ones I'm used to seeing (in the "Warcraft"ÃÂ computer games and also an RPG called "War Hammer"), but I guess they were ok.
WHO'D ENJOY IT: Anyone who has read or started reading the LotR trilogy will most likely be impressed and in awe of this movie. Anyone else who likes the whole medieval-based fantasy RPG thing will also probably like this movie. It's a great father-and-son-bonding-movie! WHO SHOULDN'T SEE IT: Listen up guys, unless your wives\girlfriends are Tolkien fans, it'd probably not be wise to take them to it, as there are evil monsters and grotesque creatures, not to mention sword-fighting and bloodshed. Also, kids below 10 probably shouldn't see it either, unless their parents can tell them exactly what's going on.
OVERALL RATING: I thought this was an extremely good movie, therefore I give it a 5! If you haven't already, go and see it...NOW!