My friend sums up The Two Towers pretty accurately. “Chingchingchingchingchingching, romantic bit, kiss kiss, chingchingchingchingchingching.”
TTT picks up where Fellowship left off, and assumes (as every sequel should) that the viewer has already been prepped on past events. The only recap given is in the opening scene, which reminds us of Gandalf’s fall in Moria, relayed as a dream by Frodo.
The Fellowship is now split, and through the movie we jump from group to group and their separate adventures, starting with Frodo and Sam. They wander towards Mordor in circles until they encounter Gollum, who promises to guide them in the hopes of gaining the ring. Gollum, a very pivotal character in the story, is also the one that isn’t played by a real actor. While Andy Serkis provided the voice (“precioussssssss”) and movements, we never actually see him on screen; his body replaced with the CG animation of a skinny, pathetic-looking being. For being the most anticipated character in the most anticipated movie series ever, Peter Jackson and crew did a fantastic job of bringing him to life. There’s a reason why Serkis was nominated for a Golden Globe.
Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli are tracking Merry and Pippin, and end up seeing the most action in the movie. After an encounter in Fangorn Forest, they set off for Edoras to see King Theoden, who is under the grips of Saruman. There we also meet Eowyn, who Miranda Richardson plays perfectly as the strong, stubborn woman who falls for Aragorn (who wouldn’t?). And then there is the battle of Helm’s Deep. According to everyone involved, there will never be another battle of that scale on film. I believe it.
Merry and Pippin perhaps get to have the best time in the movie. After escaping the Uruk-hai they come into the company of Treebeard and the Ents, and help in the destruction of Isenguard. Although I wish we could have heard the story of the Entwives and more “brumm brumm” noises, the Ents had me spell locked. In fact, the entire movie did.
Yes, Jackson takes artistic license by adding and changing some things around, but to anyone who isn’t a die-hard, it works. One thing that many viewers need to keep in mind is that Lord of the Rings is meant to be read as one book, and these movies should also be viewed together. Although that won’t be possible until the coming December, TTT should be looked at as only one part of a trilogy. That being said, it is a strong movie on its own. All of the actors have grown more into their roles, and those who are first appearing like Eomer, Eowyn, and Faramir, are already giving strong performances.
The scenes are shot brilliantly, and the attention to every last detail is amazing. Mordor, with its stark greys exudes the feelings of despair Frodo feels. Each location of the movie seems as if it really were meant for Middle Earth. New Zealand’s tourism industry must be staggering by now.
And the computer effects. I already mentioned Gollum above, but then there is also the Ents, the oliphants, the gates of Mordor… I could go on and on about the eye candy in this movie. If you never saw Fellowship because you weren’t into fantasy or some other silly reason, go rent it just so you can then see The Two Towers. People are raving about this movie for a reason. Go see it.
Rating: 5 fairies
Starring: Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Ian McKellan, Viggo Mortensen, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Miranda Richardson, Christopher Lee, Liv Tyler, Andy Serkis, etc
Official website: www.theonering.net