Escape Velocity

A curated Collection of Fantasy and Science Fiction Media

Frodo Baggins is a halfling from a peaceful land who gets entangled in the affairs of the Big Folk when it turns out the ring of his uncle is the key to defeating the Dark Lord Sauron forever.

What follows is a quest through unkown and dangerous lands, to ensure the Ring won’t fall into the wrong hands.

(Nota bene: this review relates to the extended edition of the movie. Though I’ve once seen the theatrical editions of the The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the extended editions always have my preference, and I’ve seen them more times than I can count.)


As I’ve also stated in the Collection post: I absolutely love these movies. The writing, the acting, the music, the cinematography, the art and the landscapes, the lack of toxic masculinity; everything is simply magnificent.


The Fellowship of the Ring’s greatest strength (compared to its sequels) is the sense of magical adventure that is so eminent at its core. Though the stakes are ultimately high, the protagonists’ journey is still small scale. They travel through stunning wildernesses and explore impressive deserted civilizations without being drawn into complicated politics and subplots. The goal and obstacles are clear, but many other things are still clouded by mystery.


Whenever I’m trekking through mountains or forests with my friends, I fondly think of the Fellowship’s adventures in this movie.


If you are in the unique position of having never seen these movies, don’t be discouraged by the lore exposition The Fellowship of the Ring begins with. Even if things are unclear at first, you’ll catch up on the details later on. This movie works well if you simply let the story wash over you, similar to how Frodo is pulled into an adventure he hardly understands. It’s a unique feeling I’d gladly experience all over again, given the chance.

There is really only one reason to be reviewing The Fellowship of the Ring, and that is to celebrate the masterpiece it is.

I am uploading this review at the occasion of the movie’s 20th anniversary, which is a mind-boggling fact in and of itself – do these movies feel two decades old to you? Watching them now, it sometimes feels like the men’s haircuts are the aspect of the movie that aged most poorly. Even the CGI, which is the obvious weak spot, has held up incredibly well.


As I’ve said in our Collection post, I feel Peter Jackson has, with his movie trilogy, created the ultimate fantasy experience. I am thinking of things to highlight as stand-out achievements, but I keep finding every aspect is worthy of note. If I would have to pick, I would have to say the three most notable achievements of this movie are the costume- and prop design, which has set the standard for every fantasy film coming after; the way Middle Earth was brought to life in the gorgeous sets and locations in New Zealand, and finally, the music, which I think is hands down the best soundtrack in all of cinema, ever.


I particularly love Fellowship, because while its scale is often much smaller than the other two parts in the trilogy, it already gives you an idea of the great depth of the world, gives you mysterious characters and shots that make you wonder. It makes you feel like the hobbits, thrown into a wonderous and dangerous world of mighty lords and great warriors. At the same time, it links the quaint world of the Shire to the wonders of Rivendell, the vastness of Khazad-Dûm and the foreboding marble of Orthanc. It introduces wizards, elves, orcs, trolls, uruks – all without appearing overwhelming. It makes you feel like the hobbits could make a difference if they hold on to each other. It celebrates the love between friends and companions, allows its characters to mourn. I could go on for twenty more pages and I would not be done.


It is, as I said, a masterpiece. If there is one movie I could see for the first time again, it would be The Fellowship of the Ring.

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