The "Lord of the Rings" movies have not aged well in the, what, 3 years that they've aged. The whole trilogy was playing on cable the other day, and I was sitting there at work watching them, because that's what was on TV (all around the casino you could find players and dealers significantly distracted from their blackjack games, their eyes wandering off the money to be transfixed by the sight of slavering orcs.... it was really precious). Anyhoo, somewhere in the middle of the 17th hour of the Two Towers, I realized that I had no idea why the heros are fighting evil. It's not even clear why the Urukai/orcs are evil, except that they're, well....dark. It's also unclear what kind of higher ideal Aragorn & Co. are fighting to preserve, except that it has something to do with a White City where all Men of the West are brothers.
The whole story suffers when you don't care for the heroes, and I don't care for them because they come off as virtually indestructible, infinitely regenerating video game avatars, whose main purpose seems to be establishing order by whimsically slaughtering all the dark people with earrings and facial tattoos. Even compared to the Matrix, Star Wars, and the works of Jason Statham, I think LOR ends up the most Aryan and the least compelling.
Don't get me wrong, when you need to see a movie where a dude with bows and arrows fights a giant elephant, you really can't do better. But somehow the rest of it, just enh. I dunno, maybe I'd feel different if I lived on a Shire.