I finally saw the new "Lord of the Rings" movie, which is titled "Lord of the Rings II: A Lot More Stuff Happens." It's a tad on the long side (three days), but I am not complaining. My eyeballs were literally riveted to the screen, by literal rivets, from the moment I sat down until the moment I lost all sensation in my lower body.
Yes, this is a classic movie, the kind that makes you laugh; makes you cry; makes you wonder, over and over, if this would be a good time to go to the bathroom. Above all, it's a movie that makes you think about the issues raised by the plot, the main issue being: What the heck is the plot?
I say this because it's a very complicated story, with numerous subplots and something like 11,000 major characters, most of whom have hard-to-remember names like "Flagodirt" or "Grempkin." So today, as a service to all of you who were confused by this great movie, I present the following simplified screenplay for "Lord of the Rings II":
FRODO: Darn! I still have this darned ring that I got in the first movie!
SAMWISE: The ring with the terrible power that causes everyone who comes near it to overact?
FRODO: Yes! And to destroy it, we must walk, slowly, in real time, all the way across New Zealand!
SAMWISE: But who will guide us?
FRODO: How about a reptilian computer-generated creature with a bad comb-over?
SAMWISE: Dick Cheney's in this movie?
GOLLUM: Very funny, Hobbit-breath.
LORD ARAGORN: Well, my two trusty companions -- Legolas, the Strangely Tall Elf; and Gimli, the Comic Relief Dwarf -- in our subplot, we are pursuing Merry and Pippin, who have been captured by Orcs, and now we find ourselves in the Kingdom of Rohan, ruled by King Theoden, whose daughter, Eowyn, will become my second love interest once the king is released from the spell cast by his trusted counselor, Grima Wormtongue, who is secretly in league with the evil wizard Saruman!
LEGOLAS: I have no idea what you're talking about.
LORD ARAGORN: Me either. I'm just reading the script.
GIMLI: Well, I'm really short!
LORD ARAGORN: But enough explanatory dialogue. It's time for one of the estimated 17 big sword-clanging battles we have in this movie with hideous computer-generated monsters who always outnumber us by the thousands, although we defeat them every time, because we are courageous heroes!
LEGOLAS: Also, they have the hand-to-hand-combat skills of alfalfa.
SWORDS: CLANG! CLANG! CLANG! CLANG!
MERRY: Well, Pippin, we escaped the Orcs, and now we are being carried around by talking trees!
PIPPIN: Apparently, the audience will swallow anything!
TREE: It gets worse! Later on, we engage in branch-to-hand combat!
SWORDS: CLANG! CLANG! CLANG! CLANG!
FRODO: How come, if I'm the protagonist, Lord Aragorn has two love interests, and I'm stuck in a subplot with Dick Cheney?
GOLLUM: Maybe it's because your big hairy feet make you look like you're wearing a pair of dead weasels.
LORD ARAGORN: Well, Legolas and Gimli, with the help of Gandalf the White, formerly Gandalf the Gray, also known as Gandalf the Beige, we have defeated the Uruk-hai in a giant computer-generated battle. Now we must make haste to the Really Big Rock of Karambador, before the forces of Ba'Zoot, led by the evil King Weltpimple, conquer the Mullions of Gneep and obtain the Remote Control Unit of Doom!
LEGOLAS: Now you're just making stuff up.
LORD ARAGORN: Well, it's not as stupid as the kung fu trees.
GIMLI: I'm still short!
FRODO: Uh-oh! The movie is over, and I still have this darned ring! Do you realize what that means?
SAMWISE: That "Weasel Feet" would be a good name for a rock band?
FRODO: Yes, as would "Kung Fu Trees" and "Combat Alfalfa." But my point is that the forces of Evil have been let loose upon the land, which means soon there will be ...
SAMWISE: No! Not that!
FRODO: Yes. Another sequel.