Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
reviewed by Steve Sailer
UPI, December 20, 2001
A century ago, fueled by Richard Wagner's operas, Northern European mythology was world-conquering in high culture. Then Germany literally tried to conquer the world. Following Hitler's Gotterdammerung, Teutonic themes slowly disappeared from prestige culture.
Yet, these time-tested Northern myths still appeal to shy and obsessive young men. So, they pop up in the cultural hinterlands: comic books, heavy metal, computer gaming, and, most of all, in J.R.R. Tolkien's extraordinary "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.
Director Peter Jackson strips away Tolkien's proto-hippie side and delivers a brutal sword and sorcery action epic. It works as a paranoid allegory about how Northern European man was so often tempted to use his mastery of technology for conquest.
The film is getting deserved raves; so let me simply issue a few warnings for balance. "Rings" is definitely not for everybody. It's far too intense and violent for children. For adults, especially women, three hours of battles mixed with complex exposition can make for a grueling experience.
Rated PG-13. There's nothing vulgar, but parents should take this rating seriously.