The Return of the King
The Lord of the Rings is filled with great adventure and fighting scenes to literally last a day. In 2002, the final installment, the Return of the King hit theaters. Director Peter Jackson had already given us glimpeses of what he can do and what to expect from the two previous Lord of the Rings films. However, the special effects on the Return of the King definitely up the two previous films.
The use of orcs instantly jumps out when thinking of special effects. The orcs, under Sauron's control, are attempting to rule Middle earth. Jacksons use a special effects can be seen at full throttle during the final battle at the castle of Minas Tirith. Orcs and battle elephants are creatures created by Jackson and his team as the antagonists. Elves, dwarfs, men, and an undead army make up the protagonists. Jackson and his team create a make-believe Middle earth battle for it all. The winner between Man vs orcs takes the world.
Jackson attacks our Ethos with an extreme use of logos. The Armies are dressed and equipped with realistic, old time armor and weapons. The weapons and armor that are used really existed around the Iron Age. Regardless who won, Jackson his team have made the Middle Earth battle scene so realistic, it might have made some people thinking it may have really happened thousands of years ago. The makeup and orc costumes make these foul beasts seem so real, the fear of them actually living by volcanoes is a little bit present.
His special effects go up an extra notch with the undead army that is created. This is an army that consists of old ancient warriors. The “green walkers” are creepy and hideous, but accepted since they are on man's side. The introduction of these ghosts wildly stirs and hooks viewers with a creepy and mysterious emotion. The realistic view of these ghosts can bring nightmares to ones sleep. It is amazing how a ghostly effect can extremely change how we see and what we think of a character. Without the green ghostly image, the soldiers look like the men currently defending the castle. Once the effect is added, they look like things you hope to only see in movies, and may have to remind yourself that it is only a movie.
On top of Jackson's special effects, his camera angles on the wars and Frodo’s adventures are magnificent. With so much going on it's easy for one to get lost in the action. Every camera angle follows a chronological order and always includes a main character. The chronological order makes the film easier to follow. The inclusion of main characters in every scene also plays with our emotions, since they do not always win. We see them win some battles; we see them lose some battles. He includes camera angles from both sides to keep a wide variety of emotions within the viewer.
Jackson’s special effects really make The Return of the King the great movie it is. If not for his teams and his own wild imagination none of it would have happened. With the help of modern technology he was able to create a make belief battle for Earth that seemed real enough to believe it actually might have happened. I truly believe this film would not have been anywhere as great as it was without any of the special effects that Jackson had at his disposal.