A scattered people, the descendants of storied sea-kings of the ancient West, struggle to survive in a lonely wilderness as a dark force relentlessly bends its will toward their destruction... See full summary »
The great events of the war of the ring are about to unfold and the priority for Strider and Gandalf is to keep the Ring secret. Sauron is preparing to unleash his armies and Gollum is creeping around Middle Earth with crucial knowledge of the Ring's location. He must be found. Written by
A team of Tolkein fans, with an estimated budget of $3,000, have produced their own addition to Peter Jackson's film series. For such a small budget, it's impressive how close they come at times to reproducing Jackson's big-budget style.
The movie takes its inspiration from one of the many appendices to the original novel, events that are hinted at in the first movie. The wizard Gandalf goes to Aragorn with a crucial mission: find Gollum, who knows the location of the One Ring, before Sauron's forces do. Success will allow for more time to plan, failure will result in a forced hand for our heroes, requiring that the ring be moved, with Frodo and the others put in imminent peril. Those who have seen Jackson's Fellowship of the Ring will know how this movie ends, but then that manages to add some more tense elements to the story.
If you had some favorite technical element from the movie trilogy, writer/director/producer Chris Bouchard has likely re-created it here on a fraction of the budget. No less than a half- dozen cinematographers were used to evoke the atmosphere and rich, somber colors that helped distinguish the first movie. The score by Adam Langston and Andrew Skrabutenas is less conspicuous and "epic" than the Oscar-winning strings of Howard Shore, but that's perhaps fitting for this small, more personal movie. Gollum is envisioned with creativity, the filmmakers confining him to a burlap sack for most of the movie, yet whoever plays him in the sack, combined with Gareth's Borough's keen impression of Andy Serkis, are a worthy low-budget substitute for Jackson's extensive motion-capture. The appearance of a full-CGI Gollum addressing the camera at the very end was sufficient payoff for me.
The acting styles of Adrian Webster and Patrick O'Connor as Aragorn and Gandalf are both quite interesting, surely both were cast in part for their resemblances to Viggo Mortensen and Ian McKellen respectively. Still, seeing them in their roles on the big screen is not a great stretch of the imagination.
Fight choreography was one of the movie's strongest points, Bouchard has a very good eye not only for cat-and-mouse suspense, but complex sword fights. Too often with fan films, (or action/fantasy in general), fight scenes are handled poorly, leading to audience boredom. Far from it here, where the action drew me in a surprising amount.
Bouchard and company have created something most impressive, and with a running time of 40 minutes and a price tag of $0, there's really no excuse to not see it. I can only hope that the people behind this movie will have their hard work here recognized, and maybe next time they'll make a movie they can actually profit from. This is likely the best fan film I've seen since Grayson in 2004.
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