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A very good movie

Posted : 2 years, 6 months ago on 21 October 2015 12:35

I remember perfectly when I saw this flick the first time. Back then, I just started to live in the Netherlands and I came back to France for the Christmas holidays. For the 1st installment, my best buddy  had no idea what to expect but, this time, he was just dying to watch this follow-up. Therefore, we planned to watch this one and we went once again with a group of friends. Anyway, it was definitely pretty awesome, I was really starting to feel the epicness of the whole thing and, in my opinion, it was actually better than 'The Fellowship'. Indeed, this time, there was no need to introduce the characters and most of the movie was filled with some amazing battle scenes. On top of that, there was still one major character who was finally properly introduced and it was Gollum. Basically, it was the first time that such a 3 dimensional and compelling character was created through CGI and motion capture and it was just truly mind-blowing. It was totally revolutionary and we should give credit to both Jackson and Serkis for this amazing work. So, it was better than the previous installment but, of course, those 3 movies should be seen as one huge epic story and, as such, it is quite an incredible trilogy.

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A massive improvement on the original

Posted : 4 years, 1 month ago on 1 March 2014 06:42

My expectations of 'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers' were average because I didn't really care for the first one, to my surprise, I liked it much more

A massive improvement on the original, 'The Two Towers' is scarier, darker and more interesting than 'The Fellowship of the Ring', I just thought it was really clever how here there were different stories including Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) being joined by Gollum (Andy Serkis) while they're on their journey to Mordor to destroy the One Ring

Gandalf (Ian McKellen)'s lack of screen time didn't bother me a lot and the battle scenes completely blew me away and while only the first hour of the first movie was great, here, I was completely impressed by all three hours which says a lot

My expectations for 'The Return of the King' are really high and I hope I will enjoy it (at least) as much as I enjoyed this one

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Review of The Two Towers

Posted : 5 years, 8 months ago on 21 August 2012 09:04

After a strong, if somewhat wobbly first film, The Lord Of The Rings trilogy goes significantly downhill with it's inferior sequel. The Two Towers has all the strengths and flaws of the first, though the strengths have diminished slightly, and the flaws have an even bigger presence.

The Two Towers is a continuation of the original film, in which a young hobbit named Frodo Baggins, as well as some friends, attempt to destroy a mystical ring, though dark forces oppose them.

At the end of the first film, the main characters are split up, which unfortunately, makes the film extremely complicated. Various plot lines are juggled and if the audience doesn't keep track of them all, things can get extremely confusing.

One plot line, involving Frodo and Sam attempting to destroy the ring on their own meet the Gollum. The Gollum is truly the most interesting character in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. His conflicted nature splits him into two personalities, one who wants the ring, and will kill to get it, the other that truly cares about Frodo and Sam.

The most uninteresting plot line involves Pippin and Merry being taken by walking trees and forced to do....nothing. We scarcely ever see the duo, and when we do, it's often dull. The primary source of comic relief in the first film is gone, making The Two Towers especially hard to watch.

There's less action and more talking. The length has actually been increased by a quarter hour, which makes the film even more tedious than the original. Even the dramatic battle at the end of epic scale is little compensation, as it doesn't feel very exciting.

At times, it feels like The Two Towers is repeating itself over and over again. You can count on the fact that every hour or so, someone almost dies, only to be saved an arrow to the offender's head. It's the primary source of escape in this film.

The acting, at the minimum, has not been hurt. Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen and the rest of the cast are as strong as ever. Christopher Lee's role, however, is significantly smaller, which is unfortunate.

Special effects also have not been affected in a negative way, and they are just as grand and marvelous as ever.

The score, by Howard Shore, feels a bit weaker than that of the original. The main theme is used less frequently, and the usage of lighter pieces are almost completely gone, due to the film's darker nature. It's still a good score, but it's weaker than it's predecessor's.

Dull to the point of hair pulling, The Two Towers fails to entertain. Even with the addition of Gollum, The Two Towers is boring beyond belief, and the action scenes are minimal. With little to excite viewers, it's a marvel that this tedious sequel actually has a positive reputation.

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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers review

Posted : 6 years, 1 month ago on 21 March 2012 08:22

The director Peter Jackson's scrupulous devotion to the spirit of J. R. R. Tolkien's ''Lord of the Rings'' trilogy manifests itself in a gripping, intense fashion for the second of the film adaptations, ''The Two Towers.'' It may be the first sequel that does not bother to reprise the major plot elements of its predecessor immediately; the plan is to simply drop us right into the action.

Even for those deeply immersed in the material, this stratagem creates a few moments of apprehension -- the same disconcerted quality that the hobbits Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) are experiencing on their journey; this mission began in ''The Fellowship of the Ring'' when Frodo was entrusted with the ring that gives its bearer enormous powers and, incidentally, begins the end of life in Middle Earth, as was indicated in the first ''Ring'' movie, ''The Fellowship of the Ring.''

Never has a film so strongly been a product of a director's respect for its source. Mr. Jackson uses all his talents in the service of that reverence, creating a rare perfect mating of filmmaker and material. Mr. Jackson's ploy in this beautifully considered epic is to give viewers the same feeling of confusion that his characters are experiencing. By doing this he simultaneously answers those who complained that too much of the previous ''Rings'' was about setup.
A brief recap of a climactic battle between the friendly wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and a fire demon -- one of many climactic battles from ''Fellowship'' -- is shown near the start. But this scene is used to set ''The Two Towers'' in motion. It is a daring gambit to have viewers enter a movie bearing such complex preceding action with so little information. Even though the first film took in enough cash to jump-start the flagging United States economy single-handedly, Mr. Jackson does not seem to understand that there are people who haven't absorbed the ''Rings'' chronology into the entirety of their beings. And there may even be folks out there who haven't seen ''Fellowship,'' but will be lured into theaters for ''Towers'' by all the attention that ''Fellowship'' attracted. Such moviegoers may feel left out, puzzled and unable to keep up.
With the narrative of ''Rings,'' Tolkien was investigating determination, loyalty and, finally, faith, finding innumerable ways to offer up the concept of purity of heart, as found in Matthew 5:8 and in Kierkegaard, whose contention was that purity of heart was the ability to will one thing into being. The pursuit of purity is at the center of ''Towers.''

For our hero, Frodo, whose quest is to purge the forces of menacing evil from Middle Earth, purity is demonstrated by combating the temptation to wear the ring and be consumed by its corrupting power. He gets a taste of what the future might be like when he and Sam meet Gollum, a hobbit who was once seduced by the ring. He is now an emotional and physical shambles; emaciated and slunk into a perpetual crouch, Gollum's translucent, waxy skin is a membrane that just barely contains his insides.

Gollum is divided within himself; he is an infantilized wreck who wants to please and befriend the hobbits. But he is also a hissing, bitter child-man whose paranoia keeps him breathing, and plotting. Gollum is a computer-generated creation and as fully realized a character as can be found in ''Towers'' -- perhaps the most fully realized. (He has been dropped into the movie more effectively than George Lucas crammed Jar Jar Binks into his recent ''Star Wars'' addenda.) With the voice of Andy Serkis, whose movements were also copied by the animators, Gollum is torn by his nature, and Mr. Jackson allows him to be conflicted in a way none of the other characters in the film are.
This is partially because ''Towers'' is more or less a bridge to the finale of the ''Rings'' trilogy due a year from now, though this picture is one of the most accomplished holding actions ever.

So, much of the flow of ''Towers'' is dictated by the amount of information that has to be saved for the next installment. Mr. Jackson compensates for that by inflating the warrior Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) into an even more assured, reflexive action hero. He helps a bewitched king (Bernard Hill) defend his castle against the endless, possessed armies of the villainous magician Saruman (Christopher Lee), the foe responsible for the fate of Gandalf. In his flowing white gowns and beard, Mr. Lee's warlock is a force to be reckoned with because he alone has a voice as commanding as Mr. McKellen's.
In sheer action mechanics, Mr. Jackson's achievements in ''Towers'' are even more compelling than what he managed the first time around; he has given the martial scenes of this sequel a completely different thrust. His engrossing action style is exciting and dramatic; when the swells of Saruman's army crash into the walls of the king's castle, we could be watching Orson Welles's ''Chimes at Midnight'' as directed by George A. Romero -- Shakespearean-scale bloodshed and loss as an exploitation movie. The exultant creepiness of horror films is Mr. Jackson's instinctive filmmaking style. He exaggerates it here in epic terms, and the grandeur is astonishing -- one scene of Saruman's creatures flinging themselves at the castle is framed as an overhead shot, with their shields moving like the wings of a peculiarly lyric and fatal insect.

Mr. Jackson's mastery of craft in some areas is so powerful that the flaws are more noticeable than in the first film. The little-boy allure of the storytelling in ''Towers'' is sure to evoke the same reaction that it did in ''Fellowship.'' ''Towers'' is like a family-oriented E-rated video game, with no emotional complications other than saving the day. Women have so little to do here that they serve almost as plot-device flight attendants, offering a trough of Diet Coke to refresh the geek-magnet story. (It is a lapse in Tolkien's work that Mr. Jackson has not figured out a way to correct, even with the token reappearances of Liv Tyler and Cate Blanchett from the first film.)
Mr. McKellen is a marginal presence this time around, which is unfortunate because he is needed for ballast; ''Rings'' is such a kids' fantasy that a daddy figure is required. He is the father who soothes his charges under the spell of Tolkien's bad-dream threats. But he does get one -- only one -- whooping chance to do so in ''Towers.''

The most incredible accomplishment of ''Towers'' is that at its heart it is a transition film that lasts nearly three hours and holds the viewer's attention. Because ''The Two Towers,'' which opens worldwide today, has to keep so much story in reserve for the last installment, the movie falls short on emotional involvement. Still, Mr. Jackson rises so completely to the challenges here that I can't wait to see his next movie -- by that, I mean the one after the ''Ring'' cycle ends.

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A perfect sequel to a perfect franchise!

Posted : 7 years, 1 month ago on 3 March 2011 02:47

After the giant success that was Fellowship Of The Ring and the ending of it that built up to the sequel, expectations were probably the highest I have ever felt about a film. I can remember watching all three films in the cinema and they all did blow me away but The Two Towers is perhaps the most different of the trilogy because we go on a journey where the One Ring isn't the main key focus of the story so we go to the other side of Middle-Earth although we do see the One Ring and Frodo and Sam on their quest a lot now seeing as the Fellowship has fallen apart and the stories have separated. The end of The Two Towers that lead to the build-up to Return Of The King was even more of a tease than the ending of Fellowship Of The Ring was.

Over the years there have been many sequels that have been disappointing failures especially when their predecessors have been great successful and I am glad to say that The Two Towers managed not to do that. Despite that it is a different story to what we saw in the first film, it felt so real like I was literally there with all of the characters and was epic all the way through and that is simply what I love the most about the entire trilogy. I loved every single action scene in this; especially the Helm's Deep battle and the fight in the field with the Isengard wolves.

The Fellowship has been broken, Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee have gone to Mordor to destroy the One Ring, Merry and Pippin have been captured by the Uruk-Hai and Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli have made friends of the Rohan, a race of Men who are upon war, led by their aging king Théoden. The two towers between Mordor and Isengard, Barad-Dúr and Orthanc, have united in their lust for destruction. The corrupt wizard Saruman and his slimy assistant Gríma Wormtongue, under the power of the Dark Lord Sauron, have created a grand Uruk-Hai army bent on the destruction of Men and Middle-Earth. The rebellion against Sauron is building up and will be led by Gandalf the White, who was thought to be dead after he fell down that dark abyss in Moria thanks to the Balrog. One of the Ring's original bearers, Gollum, has tracked Frodo and Sam down in search of his 'precious', but we see a nicer side to Gollum when he becomes Sméagol (his old original self before he became Gollum) and is used as a guide to Frodo and Sam by getting to Mount Doom to free the people of Middle-Earth from Sauron once and for all.

I thought the ensemble cast in Fellowship Of The Ring was just fantastic and in The Two Towers we see even more actors who have joined in to make their careers even more worthwhile in this landmark trilogy such as Andy Serkis (who was voicing Gollum for one or two scenes but there was hardly any body motion capture like there was in the sequels and will be in The Hobbit films), Bernard Hill, Karl Urban, David Wenham and amongst others. As for the actors who were in the predecessor, pretty much all of them deliver fantastic performances although there was one or two that weren't all that great and could have been better in my opinion. For example, I wasn’t entirely impressed with Liv Tyler as Arwen or Miranda Otto as Éowyn so basically just the women in the films. Everybody else gave a great or at least satisfying performance. Elijah Wood was good as Frodo once again but not one of the best. I’ll tell you what his performance is like in comparison to another's, and that is it is rather similar performance to Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars original trilogy. Ian McKellen wasn't involved in The Two Towers as much as Fellowship Of The Ring or Return Of The King but that doesn't mean he gave a weaker performance! He is just perfect for the Gandalf character and he proves that in the sequel. Viggo Mortensen was pretty good too as Aragorn and so was Sean Astin as Samwise Gamgee (in my opinion, the most underrated performer in the trilogy). Orlando Bloom doesn't annoy me in Lord Of The Rings like he did in Pirates Of The Caribbean so that’s good and I really liked the funny chemistry between him and Dwarf Gimli. Andy Serkis was amazing as Gollum! He and McKellen are the best performers in the trilogy! Fact.

Peter Jackson, a director who most people had no knowledge of until Fellowship Of The Ring was released and he blew us all away with a film that really felt real. However, did he do it again with The Two Towers? Ohh… hell yeah! Unfortunately, Jackson didn't receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Director but he damn sure deserved to win the bloody award, let alone be nominated! Peter really is the only guy who could have made Lord Of The Rings as successful as it is now and he really is the only guy who can pull off The Hobbit too seeing as they came before Lord Of The Rings in the books but the films are prequels to the trilogy. Anyway, the way he handled making this film was literally flawless and it was spine chilling throughout every second of it. You might find this weird and be gob smacked at this but even the extended versions of the trilogy aren't even long enough despite that they are all at least 3 ½ to 4 hours long so yeah, that goes to show how much I love Lord Of The Rings and will love The Hobbit which are most likely to be at least 3 hours long (both films).

Overall, The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers is another fantastic film in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy and when it ended, it became the biggest build-up and most exciting film experience ever when it led to Return Of The King which is my favourite film of all time. No, this wasn’t completely about the Ring but it is still a masterpiece and a very serious, dark, gripping adventure where we visit another region of Middle-Earth. It also has its rightful place as one of the greatest sequels of all time.

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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers review

Posted : 7 years, 4 months ago on 19 December 2010 10:15

It seems ridiculous to want to add my own comments to a slew of others that are already in IMDB's records, but I feel like I cannot sleep nor cease the throbbing in my chest until I release some of what I have so recently seen.

Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings is one of the bravest projects ever attempted by a filmmaker. Mr Jackson deserves every ovation he will receive, every award, every bit of the praise and adoration that will be spoken and written.

This second installment of the story is a masterpiece in every sense, forget your prejudices about the books, they are another way of looking at this beautiful story (I know this is slightly against the rules, but a I cannot resist saying that a previous writers comment - a comment that compared the Lord of the Rings Films and Books to the difference between Romeo and Juliet in screenplay and ballet formats - was entirely accurate).

Gollum was an excellent amalgam, so easily could he have been an annoying Jar-Jar-Binks-Alike. Instead the way that Jackson and Serkis (and doubtless many many others) chose to portray the CGI incarnation of "Smeagol" was incredibly emotive and powerful. Gollum is profoundly disturbing, amusing, almost lovable... Not even John Ronald Reuel himself could induce that range of emotions for Smeagol in me...

A truly skin-crawling performance by a superb Brad Douris as the evil Grima Wormtongue was just beyond words. Douris _Became_ Wormtongue in a skillful fulfillment of what was already inspired casting.

Probably the most definitive casting of this film though was Manchester born Bernard Hill as Theoden, King of Rohan. The casting for "The Two Towers" makes one shake ones head and wonder, in retrospect, whether anyone else could have filled these roles. Mr Hill's performance was truly first rate, a performance which contributed greatly to "The Battle of Helms Deep", scenes which were a spinning tornado of emotions for the viewer.

Viggo Mortensen goes from strength to strength. His performance is visceral and yet sensitive. The overriding emotion that Tolkiens vision of Aragorn induced (at least for me) was awe at his heroics. Mortensen's portrayal in Jackson's frame brings new aspects to the Aragorn character. Mortensen's Aragorn is emotionally dextrous to go with his physical dexterity, he is sensitive, seemingly empathic, warmer and more fundamentally human, and yet super-human in presence and charisma. "Definitive" is not strong enough of a word.

If you still view Jackson's epic with scepticism I implore you to put down your preconceptions and your prejudices, but most of all put down the books... This is beautiful way to see middle earth, don't pass it up - The books are the ultimate fantasy epic - the pictures you draw in your head are better than anything you can imagine, but The Lord of the Rings "The Two Towers" is one wonderful interpretation of that epic story.

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The 2 gypsy Towers!

Posted : 7 years, 6 months ago on 23 October 2010 11:17

--This film clearly is a masterpiece, I feel bad for those who find it long..boring..stupid and full of hype. It's anything but boring and it's not even that long, should be longer I think. Peter Jackson truly made cgi awesome and revolutionized it to the masses.

The film has everything! Exquisite acting(apart from Legolas-Orlando Bloom hah), killer action/battle sequences, creative humor, strong morals and it's a flat out amazing adventure. The Orcs are killer awesome, even tho they're the bad guys :p.

I Saw this in the theaters 3 times and it blew me away every time!.

The books are of course somewhat better, but I'm not a douche and say "oh it's not like the book!" hate it when people do that..grow up, obviously everyone's imagination is different..stupid. To me these series are the PERFECT example of "Good vs. Evil". Tolkien was a Christian and whether he made the connections with Christianity is debatable, it's filled with morals, faith and Biblical principles. You could say this film touches me a lot, it really does and I don't see how someone could NOT enjoy this film or the rest of the novel based films.

Evil kind of gets the "one up" from this film and it makes you wait in anticipation for the next film. The relationships are interesting and likable. The movie appeals to many, but especially to those who are keen to SCI-FI, like Me. It's viewable for the whole family to! Heck and it doesn't need to be a "rated R" film to get Oscars and appeal. Jackson proves that through his amazing direction for this series.

In conclusion, everyone should see this film and enjoy it. I love it and enjoy it every-time. It's my type of film.

Rating: Another clear 10/10

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A new power is rising.

Posted : 7 years, 11 months ago on 4 May 2010 03:11

''Where is the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing? They have passed like rain on the mountain, like wind in the meadow. The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow. How did it come to this?''

Frodo and Sam continue on to Mordor in their mission to destroy the One Ring. Whilst their former companions make new allies and launch an assault on Isengard.

Christopher Lee: Saruman the White

Brad Dourif: Grima Wormtongue

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is like Fellowship a triumph that any Tolkien fan, adventure/fantasy or war enthusiast should see.
J.R.R. Tolkien's novel The Two Towers with the help of Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Stephen Sinclair and Peter Jackson's screenplay he brings the story to life upon the screen.
Director Peter Jackson admitted The Two Towers was the hardest part of the trilogy to achieve, at least in terms of narrative structure since, unlike The Fellowship of the Ring, it has no proper beginning and no emotionally packed climax. What does it have? It has the psychotic split personality Smeagol/Gollum brought to life with stunning visual effects, it has epic battles at Helm's Deep and three plot threads all happening simultaneously.

The Two Towers picks up exactly from where its predecessor ended: the Fellowship is broken into three separate groups, all with their own problems:
Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) continue their journey to Mordor in order to destroy the One Ring, and find an unexpected guide in that item's previous owner, vicious creature Gollum (Andy Serkis); Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) reunite with the reborn Gandalf (Ian Mckellen) to save the dying kingdom of Rohan from Saruman's (Christopher Lee) evil clutch; Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd) have a close encounter with the Ents, ancient creatures which have unfinished business with a certain bad wizard...
New cast members also join the fray and Middle Earth saga; The talented Brad Dourif, Bernard Hill, Miranda Otto, Karl Urban, and David Wenham.

''A new power is rising. Its victory is at hand. This night the land will be stained with the blood of Rohan. March to Helm's Deep. Leave none alive. To war!''

The Two Towers does not follow the middle book in Tolkien's epic trilogy as closely as some would imagine, and does indeed take a few liberties here and there, but overall this is an epic, fantastical adaptation and, let's face it, probably among the greatest sequels in film history. Jackson once again successfully creates a believable yet fanciful vision of Middle Earth; His special effects, while not quite as seamless and earthy as in Fellowship are nonetheless impressive, and there's great magic in the cinematography, set design and music. The acting is also a level of magnitude above that seen in any Oscar contending picture this decade. Each actor and actress is able to make his or her character unique and believable within the terms of the story. This film probably comes the closest of any to resembling a perfect marriage between art, award winning drama and blockbuster entertainment.

Overall, The Two Towers brings new favourite characters from the books to life. Grima Wormtongue played by Brad Dourif, equals a parody of slimy villainy along with Saruman. Treebeard, leader of the Ents of the forest, voiced by John Rhys-Davies also makes another lovable, memorable character. I would say the most impressive newly studied and realized character would be Gollum. Andy Serkis lends his voice, his body to the creation of this layered creature. In fact the effects and artful poise owe alot to the man Serkis whom effortlessly helps bring the creature Gollum whom was once Smeagol to life.
The Two Towers is the middle part of one of the greatest trilogies ever realized in film. It was the hardest film to adapt to screen but Peter Jackson takes his best shot and effortlessly succeeds in again making an emotional and turbulent story packed with vibrant characters, he succeeds in bringing life to J.R.R. Tolkien's story upon film. Won 2 Oscars for Sound Editing and Visual Effects.

A Masterpiece.

''The battle of Helm's Deep is over; the battle for Middle Earth is about to begin.''

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Truly Epic

Posted : 9 years, 7 months ago on 14 September 2008 05:12

The middle parts of movie trilogies are frequently the best ones (Godfather II, The Empire Strikes Back, Spider-Man 2 come to mind). I'm not sure of the exact reasons but it's usually a combination of familiarity with the characters and one of these following two reasons: they try to end with a bang in the third movie and go a little overboard or the whole thing has just run out of fresh ideas. The Two Towers is the best of the LOTR trilogy, but not for any of the reasons mentioned above. The other two movies in this particular trilogy are both excellent movies, both deserving acclaim. It's just that The Two Towers is somehow ... better.

The movie deviates from Tolkien's book the most of three, and it turns out to be a good thing. The scriptwriters move some events around, fiddle with some of the plot lines and the characters and throw in some brand new stuff for good measure. The end result is that while Fellowship gave you the feeling that LOTR is some variety of an action adventure, this movie leaves you in no doubt that it's a true epic.

LOTR is a true epic in every sense. It's a grand story about the passing of an age. A tragedy that consumes so many of it's heroes and leaves the rest scarred. Where every victory comes at a price and sometimes the price is the destruction of something old and/or beautiful. In the end, it is about growing up and losing the magic we believe in when young. Tolkien makes is abundantly clear that we can never go back to how things were and it's this movie that rams the message home.

This movie is the heart of the epic and is successful in transforming our view of it too. The trilogy came to a stupendous conclusion in Return but I'm glad the filmmakers didn't leave everything till the end.

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A marvellous cinematic achievement!

Posted : 9 years, 10 months ago on 16 June 2008 07:05

"All our hopes now lie with two little hobbits, somewhere in the wilderness."

I still remember leaving the cinema subsequent to the first session I saw of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Little did I know that the screening I attended would cause a never-ending obsession with the epic trilogy. Instantly I was completely hooked, and the cliff-hanger at the end of the first film made my anticipation even higher for the second. Alas, 12 months later Peter Jackson and his talented creative team reeled out the second instalment for which I waited with baited breath. Just like the first film, I remember booking tickets in advance and heading to a screening on Boxing Day of 2002: exactly one year since I initially saw the first film. Just like its predecessor, I absolutely loved The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

The reception from critics and audiences was a mixed bag. Be that as it may, I will always adore all three additions in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Like its predecessor the film flaunts visceral filmmaking: astounding special effects, mind-blowing cinematography, amazing locations and incredible production values! Where the first LOTR film was essentially a road story of epic proportions, The Two Towers is a rich, heroic epic containing powerful and moving themes of friendship and courage in times of peril. With so many powerful underlying messages, the film also moves at a brisk pace with testosterone and intensity during the action scenes.

Like the first film, The Two Towers was acknowledged worldwide with critical acclaim and recognition from the Oscar committee. This film scored a mere 6 Oscar nominations (including Best Picture), ultimately walking away with two wins. In addition to this, award ceremonies globally recognised the film with several awards. There can be no disagreeances on this front: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is an exceptional movie that even dwarfs the original film with its increasingly expanded definition of the word "epic".

This second instalment in Peter Jackson's epic trilogy continues the story where it concluded at the end of The Fellowship of the Ring: basically, the fellowship is broken with groups of characters being separated from each other. The film does not open with any flashbacks or lines of narration: there is no help to assist first-time viewers to find their footing. Instead we're thrown straight into the action. If someone was to edit the first two films together (erasing the opening titles, of course) the transition would be fundamentally seamless.

Anyway, the original nine members of the fellowship have been broken apart. Frodo Baggins (Wood) is now travelling to Mordor with companion Samwise Gamgee (Astin). The camaraderie of the two is what keeps the flame of their spirit and determination burning. However they strike a hindrance when they discover that they are hopelessly lost. A ray of hope begins to shine as the tragic creature Gollum (a digital character played by Andy Serkis) is visibly following them. Gollum was once a Hobbit named Sméagol...who became a deformed creature because of the effect of the ring he now refers to as his "precious". Gollum is the ultimate expression of the One Ring's corrupting and draining influence, and serves as a reminder of the urgency of Frodo's mission while guiding him towards the boundaries of Mordor. Upon capturing Gollum, Frodo and Sam convince the troubled creature to act as a guide to help them navigate the difficult lands through which they are crossing. In an alternative storyline (that is vitally linked and occurring simultaneously) we find Aragorn (Mortensen), Legolas (Bloom) and Gimli (Rhys-Davis) who are tracking the Uruk-Hai warriors that kidnapped Merry (Monaghan) and Pippin (Boyd). Their pursuit of the Uruk-Hai brings them to the land of Rohan that is under threat. King Théoden (Hill) has too long been under the treacherous influence of his advisor Grima Wormtongue (Dourif). With the land of Rohan under threat of imminent attack, the inhabitants are advised to leave immediately and flee to the stronghold of Helm's Deep. Meanwhile, Saruman (Lee) is raising an army of several thousand Uruk-Hai warriors to advance on Helm's Deep. In the neighbouring forest of Fangorn, Merry and Pippin are under the very safe guard of the Ents. These Ents are creatures that are essentially walking trees. On the eve of the fight for Middle Earth, the Ents are reluctant to get involved. Most of their story is concerned with their decision-making process and subsequent battle.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is a truly spectacular second part of an excellent trilogy. This film is darker, more focused, more deeply emotional and overall more exciting than its predecessor! Identical to the first film, The Two Towers is filmed against the magnificent scenery of New Zealand that is marvellously showcased as Middle Earth. This film is simply a visual enchantment. Even after repeated screenings you will still be trying to grasp the attention to detail in every single shot.

The special effects work is nothing short of mind-blowing! There's a spectacular assortment of technical wizardry on exhibition here, highlighted by the amazing CGI creation of Gollum. The character was created in a computer, using actor Serkis as a model for which to animate his mannerisms. Every piece of Gollum has been inserted by computer, and yet it's almost impossible to point out any flaws in the CGI. Shadow detail, skin texture...everything has been brilliantly detailed by the ideal creative team! Even though Gollum is a computer creation we can experience his emotions with a great deal of potency. His story is tragic and enough to make you cry. His mannerisms and voice by Andy Serkis is just the icing on the cake. There are certainly multiple facets to explore with this character, especially with dual personalities buzzing around in the mind of Gollum. This is all shown extremely well. I can't compliment the filmmakers enough!

Of course, The Two Towers features an outstanding cast. In my review of the first film I mention most of the cast in-depth. I will prominently mention the new members of the cast this time. Bernard Hill is an exceptional character portrayal of King Théoden. At first the king is weak and dying...then he becomes rejuvenated and younger. Hill plays both of these character personalities to perfection. I simply cannot imagine anyone but Hill pulling off this role. Miranda Otto is stunning and idyllic as Éowyn: a confident and feisty woman (also very beautiful) who spends most of the movie proving her worth in combat. Many of these bonding scenes with co-star Viggo Mortensen are very compelling, and their chemistry sizzles. Karl Urban's best role is on display here as he portrays the soldier Éomer. His lines are never contrived and he looks the part. David Wenham is yet another commendable addition to the cast as Gondorian ranger Faramir. During combat his lines are delivered with great intensity. Wenham never strikes a false note. There's also a powerhouse performance by Christopher Lee as the powerful white wizard, and a sadistic-looking Brad Dourif as the deformed Wormtongue. John Rhys-Davis also voiced Treebeard the Ent who is fittingly introduced in this second instalment.

Overall, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is every bit as stunning as its forerunner. With a gorgeous, motivating score from Howard Shore (that establishes a number of trademark themes for characters, locations, etc), exquisitely dazzling visuals, a solid script and plenty of testosterone this is indeed a film for the history books. The Fellowship of the Ring was a hard act to follow, but Jackson and his superlative creative team pull off a film that suitably matches its predecessor in terms of visuals, heart and intensity. This film created further reason for my never-ending obsession with the trilogy. I have so far attended 2 marathons, and I viewed The Two Towers singularly in the cinema on multiple occasions. It's a grand achievement of contemporary filmmaking...a cinematic rush of blood to the head that exhilarates, astounds and enchants; leaving you hungry for more.

The Two Towers continues Tolkein's trilogy in grandiose style, casting a spell that is impossible to resist. The Battle of Helm's Deep is possibly the greatest battle scene in cinematic history. Winner of 2 Oscars. Later released in an extended edition.


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