As the second film of the trilogy, “The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers” was considered by some viewers as the weakest of the three films. I don’t know why, but I’m pretty sure it’s not because that it has longer duration. Yet, to be honest, I found that “The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers” was more enjoyable than its predecessor, “The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring”. The three-hour-and-a-half duration was (a little bit) less exhausting for me, as it opened by a dramatic part from its predecessor and closed with a grand epic breath-taking war.
Because this film is a continuation, so I warn you not to read this review if you haven’t watched the first film, as I don’t even give any SPOILER signs for some correlating stories I put here-and-there in this review. “The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers” was opened with a glimpse of the scene of Gandalf the Grey (played by Ian McKellen) fell into the depth after fighting Balrog. The Fellowship of The Ring, after the death of Boromir (played by Sean Bean), was then divided: Meriadoc ‘Merry’ Brandybuck (played by Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin Took (played by Billy Boyd) were taken by a group of Uruk-hai; Aragorn (played by Viggo Mortensen), Legolas the Elf (played by Orlando Bloom), and Gimli the Dwarf (played by John Rhys-Davies) continued their journey to save Merry and Pippin; Frodo Baggins (played by Elijah Wood) and Sam Gamgee (played by Sean Astin) went by themselves to Mordor. Frodo and Sam captured Gollum (portrayed by Andy Serkis) following them and asked him to guide them to Mordor, while Merry and Pippin successfully escaped from the Uruk-hai and made new ally with Treebeard (voiced by John Rhys-Davies). In another place, Legolas, Aragorn, and Gimli helped the Rohan to defend themselves from the attack of Saruman’s (played by Christopher Lee) army.
"My Precious...!" - Gollum
New characters, new places, new names. New confusions? Maybe. It’s like I need to write them down on a note so I didn’t forget what was which and who was what. While we’ll be taken to explore three different adventures from the separated Fellowship, the focus was more to the journey of Legolas, Aragorn, and Gimli to help the Rohan. There will be a great epic war in the ending (which was absolutely breath-taking), and all the efforts of “The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers” will mainly be built for the war. Frodo and Sam would no longer be the main topic, and Merry and Pippin, with their new friend Treebeard, were just another trinket. But, as I have mentioned in the first paragraph, I admit that I found the story was less “rambling”. Maybe because I felt curious about how these three different plots would go across in the ending. Well, again, I think the duration could be shortened by half an hour or so if Peter Jackson and the other screenwriters would cut some “unnecessary” parts (and be less faithful with the novel) like when Aragorn recalled Arwen (played by Liv Tyler) in his dream or the emotional conflict of Faramir (played by David Wenham), Boromir’s little brother, with their father. I think if they want to describe those scenes in a briefer way, “The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers” wouldn’t go too lengthy.
No, I won’t talk a lot about the visual effects and the setting because I have done it (too much) before in my review on “The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring”, except that the CGI they did to make two new characters, Gollum and Treebeard, was simply awesome, especially with the voice they made for the characters. See the film poster? Yes, Gandalf was back (!) with a little bit different outlook (and, supposedly, characterization—although I didn’t see it clearly). Frodo, as he wore the One Ring much longer, became crueler to Sam, and in some parts, the friendship and the loyalty Sam tried to build with Frodo was dramatically touching. And Gollum! While CGI made him look so nasty (and it’s a remarkable achievement in visual effects), Andy Serkis liven up his character with a good acting. A good portrayal of two-face characterization was successfully made, as until the last part viewers would keep questioning, on which side Gollum will be. Still, an orchestra grande music was so supportive, melting together especially with the grand battle in the ending—which was awesome. The last minutes of the film turned out to be more enjoyable because of this (since the middle part was plain due to some unsuccessful minor conflicts) and ended the film in a big curiosity.
Well, I won’t make this review as lengthy as the film so I have to end it with a short conclusion. “The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers” was prepared to unravel all the great journey to destroy One Ring in the last film of the trilogy, using a quite more complicated but mesmerizing story. Some key points of the big story were there, so don’t try to watch the last film without keeping track to the plot of this story. It’s not simple, but a fanboy would love it so much.
▲ CGI for Gollum and Treebeard, breath-taking grand battle
▼ Many new characters, more confusing
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS | COUNTRY USA YEAR 2002 RATING Rated PG-13 for epic battle sequences and scary images RUNTIME 223 min GENRE Action, Adventure, Fantasy CAST Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, Sean Astin WRITER J.R.R. Tolkien (novel), Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Stephen Sinclair, Peter Jackson (screenplay) DIRECTOR Peter Jackson IMDB RATING 8.7/10 (Top 250 #21) METACRITIC 88/100 (Universal Acclaim) ROTTEN TOMATOES 96% (Certified Fresh) MORE INFO