The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers is the second of Peter Jackson’s remarkable Lord of the Rings trilogy. For the usual comprehensive intro, check out our review for the first film in the trilogy at this link.
Rohan is crumbling, Gollum is following, and everyone is preparing for a battle that will bring darkness across the entire world… The premise of the sequel ramps up the energy and momentum of the first, and this second film takes what wonders, artwork, genius, and brilliant performances existed in the first film and tweak them to present a glorious and magnificent film that outshines the first. Perhaps what is most impressive about this one is how much cleaner the special effects were, and how excellent the production value was – considering the film was made immediately subsequent to Fellowship, they were able to tune up the great work that they did in the first film and make the magic even more polished.
Some really impressive elements of this one are the Ents and their execution. The sheer beauty of the characters and performances were beautiful. I was a little worried about going back and watching Gollum, but he still held up in my opinion. He was a little cartoony, but the motion capture was just incredible, and considering this was just a year or something after Episode I, there is no comparison to what I am watching and…. He that shall not be named.
Regardless, my love for the trilogy grows with film two, and I am looking forward to the final installment. I did watch the first of the Hobbit films last year on DVD, and I couldn’t get into it. It seemed hasty, disparate, and simply not a good film (as much as I love Martin Freeman), but I hear that has a lot to do with the execution of the production team trying to stretch out a hundred page book into three movies that weren’t even finished being planned out because there just isn’t that much material…. Well, I think this Honest Trailers Video sums it up pretty perfectly. Regardless, The Two Towers actually makes me thirst for Return of the King and revisiting the books.
This film is darker and grimmer than The Fellowship of the Rings. This movie breaks into three different story arcs, Frodo and Sam’s journey to destroy the ring at Mordor, Merry and Pippin, who are captured and escape, and Aragon, Legolas, and Gimli, who travel to Rohan to plead for help.
This movie has some spectacular special effects. The giant trees, or Ents, who play a major role in propelling the plot forward in the final battle scene in the movie, barely seem outdated. For the parts where the Ent Treebeard carries and speaks to Merry and Pippin, a 14-foot puppet was built on a wheel. The production crew began working on animating Gollum in 1998, but most scenes that include other actors have Gollum portrayed as an actor wearing a motion capture suit, with the Gollum animation layered on these scenes. Watching this movie so many years later, very few scenes seem outdated or unrealistic.
This movie also perfectly sets up the third and final movie in the series, the Return of The King