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Plot: Sauron's forces increase. His allies grow. The Ringwraiths return in an even more frightening form. Saruman's army of Uruk Hai is ready to launch an assault against Aragorn and the people of Rohan. Yet, the Fellowship is broken and Boromir is dead. For the little hope that is left, Frodo and Sam march on into Mordor, unprotected. A number of new allies join with Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, Pippin and Merry. And they must defend Rohan and attack Isengard. Yet, while all this is going on, Sauron's troops mass toward the City of Gondor, for the War of the Ring is about to begin. Runtime: 179 mins Release Date: 27 Mar 2002
Seriously, I never thought a movie could get better than the Fellowship of the Ring, but it did. This movie should be #1 on the IMDb top 250. This movie, as long as it was, captivated me from start to finish, and those who are not entertained by this movie can not be entertained period. Yes, I have read the book. Any chapters cut out at the end of books III and IV will probably themselves in the next installment. If you haven't noticed, the beginning of the Two Towers was actually closed the Fellowship of the Ring on the big screen.Gollum was a CG masterpiece. He added some light to this <more>
incredibly dark movie. At the same time, there are areas where you feel sorry for the poor guy, or just want to kill him. Smeagol was probably the most diverse character I've ever seen.Elijah Wood put on a better performance than he did in the first movie, as did Sean Astin. Ian McKellen, who captivated us in the last movie, captivated us even more in this one. Viggo Mortensen, John Rhys-Davies, and Orlando Bloom made a great trio. They laughed together, cried together, prospered together, and suffered together. This trio gave life to Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas. Eowyn expressed her emotions clearly through Miranda Otto. The music need not be discussed. Its greatness speaks for itself.Favorite Scene: The Battle of Helms Deep. Possibly the greatest scene in the book, 50% of the trailer, and action packed climax to this beautiful movie. The movie, like its predecessor, fails to bring us closure, but that's ok. Closure will come next year. I look forward to the Return of the King.The Two Towers is now my favorite movie of all time.The scale is broken. 10 is not a capacity sufficient enough to hold this movie... my movie... my... precious...
The final hour of The Two Towers is grand, terrifying, and epic on a biblical level. (by justinrsko)
The opening scene of The Two Towers provides an outstanding, yet very brief, taste of action, cinematography, and special effects, only to be matched and far surpassed in the final hour of the film. The stunning events of the third hour of The Two Towers are undoubtedly the centerpiece of the film, and while the first two hours serve finely as story development, they primarily build anticipation for the final hour, which mostly depicts the battle of Helm's Deep. More than anything else, the first two hours merely tease and torment the patient audience. It's a shame that such a gap <more>
has to exist between the first minute and the final hour, but I take no reservations in saying that despite how you feel about the first two hours of the film, the final hour will make the wait entirely worth its while.As stated, the road to the battle of Helm's Deep can be enormously long and painful for any viewer aware of what breathtaking scenes await towards the end of the film. Perhaps The Two Towers' biggest fault is in its own accomplishments; the first two thirds of the film are well shot, well paced, and they necessarily and adequately progress the storyline, but when compared to the spectacular final hour, the first two hours seem uneventful and insignificant. However, to be fair, I feel that it's simply impossible to create two hours of film that could appropriately lead into the battle of Helm's Deep. It's difficult to comprehend how such scenes came to exist in the rather short amount of time Peter Jackson has had to create six hours so far of finished film. The battle of Helm's Deep is simply unreal; it's unlike any event that has come to pass since fantasy films gained, and regained, popularity.As assumed, The Two Towers begins where The Fellowship of the Ring ended. The majority of the film follows four separate groups and their story lines: Frodo and Sam; Aragorn and Legolas, Merry and Pippin, and Saruman and his army. The performances live well up to the standards of the first film, with a particularly notable performance from Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn, whose role is significantly larger in The Two Towers. Aragorn satisfies a thirst for someone to root for, a thirst that was left partly unquenched in Fellowship. It's much easier to root for Aragorn than it is for Frodo; Aragorn has many more qualities of a leading man, a soldier, and a hero. More than once did the audience, filled mostly with academy voters, applaud the heroics of Aragorn. Gollum also shines in a much-welcomed large role, due to extremely realistic computer animation, and a fine performance from Andy Serkis, upon which the animation was modeled. In Fellowship, it was appropriate to consider Gollum one of the many great 'features' of the film. However, here he is more of a leading character and a 'star,' and his convincing dual-personality, stabbing voice, and well-choreographed body movements make him consistently eye-grabbing and the center of focus of nearly every scene in which he appears.As was The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers is a visual delight. Those who have seen Fellowship are no doubt familiar with the beauty of the landscapes of New Zealand. The cinematography is, again, one of the best aspects of the film. The swooshing camera movements that follow the armies and horsemen throughout the fields are extremely satisfying in this post-Matrix era. The shots of the ascending enemy-laden ladders in the battle of Helm's Deep are terrifying and chillingly gorgeous all at once. The visual effects take an appropriate leap forward from those of the first film. While the visual effects in Fellowship were outstanding, the battle of Helm's Deep provides for the best application of CGI since the rippling waves of The Matrix's 'Bullet Time.' The battle of Helm's Deep features absolutely awe-inspiring and seamless integration of acting, stunts, and computer animation. Each orc seems to have its own personality, demonstrated in its movements and visual features. The masses of armies fight with strategy and true character, which I imagine is much harder to accomplish than animating thousands of identical clone troopers. The only problem I have with the visual department is the look of Gimli, the Treebeard. Gimli's visual features seem a bit childish and uninspired, inconsistent with the standards set by the rest of the film. But again, there is simply nothing that compares to the battle of Helm's Deep. George Lucas and the Wachowski brothers certainly have not created anything that approaches the grandness and magnificence of The Two Towers' final hour, and I doubt they will do so anytime soon.In The Fellowship of the Ring, I had a few minor problems with Howard Shore's score. While I thought it was gorgeous and it established several very memorable themes, I don't think it handled the sentimental scenes opening in the Shire, Gandalf's passing properly. I thought it caved in to the melodrama a bit too much, resembling the emotions from James Horner's Titanic. However, I believe that The Two Towers requires the type of score which Howard Shore accomplishes best: dark, continuous, and unrelenting, as demonstrated in Se7en and Silence of the Lambs. The theme used in many of the action scenes in Fellowship low brass, six notes repeated with a rest in between is much more present in The Two Towers, appropriately. A brand new theme is also unveiled, the theme for Rohan, a prominent kingdom in Middle Earth. Rohan's theme is played more often than any other melody in the film, underscoring most of the memorable and heroic scenes with great effect. Howard Shore undeniably exhibits his skills as an 'A-list' composer, and with a possible double Oscar nomination this year for The Two Towers and Gangs of New York, he could get propelled to the very top of the 'A-list,' right beside John Williams and Hans Zimmer in terms of demand.If not the picture itself, there should be a way to recognize and award the battle of Helm's Deep. The battle sequence alone represents successful filmmaking in its highest form. The choreography of the battle, the visual effects, the pacing, acting, cinematography, and music, all work together in perfection to achieve grand filmmaking which is as entertaining and enjoyable as film can be. For this very reason, no one, whether a fan of Fellowship or not, should miss The Two Towers.
Yes, it's true. Return of the King may have won more of the Oscars as the culmination of Peter Jackson's magnificent cinematic achievement, but history will in fact adjudge "The Two Towers" as the greatest of the three Rings. If Fellowship was a road movie and ROTK was a friendship film, then Two Towers is an unadulterated war movie of heroic proportions. Peter Jackson said he based it on "Zulu"- and we can see why. It has a dramatic intensity and flow which none of the other films quite share. Good against evil are so sharply contrasted that you could cut your <more>
fingers on them. TTT also has the best score Howard Shore has produced. And it has the best dialogue.The screenplay explains with barely disguised contemporary resonance what we are protecting in Western civilisation when we defend ourselves against those who would wish to destroy it. When Sam tells Frodo that there are "some things worth fighting for", when Merry tells Pippin that there "won't be a Shire" unless they do something about it, when King Theoden laments that "the sun has gone down in the West" this film could be entitled not the "Two Towers" but "the Twin Towers". It is Miltonic in its scope. It is cinema as art.Yes, one may quibble about certain Entish details, and I know that the Elves weren't supposed to be at Helm's Deem, and that Faramir is a little undeveloped, but does this matter? Not at all. The Extended version is better than the original, but does not need to make such a quantum leap as Fellowship managed with its EE. However it will be a film that is seen as a landmark in cinema. A trilogy which may never be bettered. And a reminder of what we are all here for
I considered The Fellowship of the Ring to be one of the greatest movies ever. This one is better!The scenery is marvelous, the animations great, and the story superb. This episode strays further from the books when it comes to the unfolding of events, but I feel that it stays closer in atmosphere and realism; the nazgÃ»ls are now the fear-inspiring creatures they should be. Gollum, excellently implemented, even becomes more realistic then I remember him from the books, not to mention other attempts to portray him. His schizophrenic monologues are among the highlights of the movie.The major <more>
drawback is once again the apparent incapability of the dark-side creatures. Aragorn with fellows can ride back and forth among them unhurt, while the Uruk-Hai fall in large numbers just for being nearby. Though I enjoy many of the jokes made at Gimli's expense, this still is another thing I partly dislike. Gimli sure is no clown in the books.I rate the movie 9/10 my highest so far .
A Second Look, With Subtitles In Parts, Made This Much Better (by ccthemovieman-1)
I didn't really appreciate this second installment of the LOTR trilogy until I watched this for the second time. The key was how I looked at the key character of this film: "Gollum" Andy Serkis. . Once I began to appreciate and marvel at this weasel-like character, my opinion of the film went from bad to good. That doesn't mean I like that slimy creature: I don't, but I am more fascinated by him rather than totally annoyed as I was with the first viewing. A big reason was that I put on the English subtitles, so I was able to understand everything he said. I recommend <more>
doing that you has a similar problem deciphering his dialog. Now I more fully understood what a tortured soul that pathetic creature was.Anyway, this second installment, as in the first, offers a lot of fascinating sights and sounds and a nice varied platter of action scenes and wild characters. For younger kids, I am to happy to say there is absolutely nothing, language-wise, that would offend anyone but the violence is heavy and brutal at times.This is a solid, highly-recommended second installment in the trilogy. It's epic film-making. No, it may not be equal to the first - The Fellowship Of The Ring - but what adventure story is?
Don`t you just hate cinemas ? No matter where you sit you always end up surrounded by people who spend their time chatting amongst themselves as to the events on screen 30 seconds before they happen . If we`re after a running commentary we`ll buy the DVD thank you very much . Add to this unattended mad mental kids running around wild . In fact many years ago our local newspaper saw a no holds barred letter of complaint about a screening of 3 MEN AND A LITTLE LADY which referred to foul mouthed juvenile delinquents in the audience . And on top of all this I`m a chainsmoker and cinema chains <more>
don`t allow patrons to poison themselves or others with nicotine so as a rule I don`t visit cinemas . But it`s a rule I broke in order to see THE TWO TOWERS because I was literally dying to see it . So I booked my ticket well in advance for the premier screening in Rothesay on the 26th of January , popped into the cinema that night and demanded to be entertained****** SPOILERS ******I was entertained and more , but I later had some reservations . On a technical level TTT not only does not disappoint but it outdoes FELLOWSHIP in terms of both scope and scale but this doesn`t automatically make it as some people have claimed a better film . The battles of Helms Deep and Isengard are truly breath taking and out do anything Hollywood has done , but ironically by concentrating on spectacle TTT feels more like a Hollywood film than FELLOWSHIP . And all this spectacle causes a problem for Peter Jackson - How does he finish all these impossibly epic set pieces ? The simple answer is he can`t ! As several reviewers have mentioned the fractured storyline comes to the rescue of the director in much the same way as Gandalf rides to the rescue of Helms Deep : Cut to the most breath taking calvary charge in the history of cinema , cut to the Ents attacking Isengard and then cut back to Helms Deep where our heroes have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat , except they did so mainly off screen . It`s as if the director has used the fractured storyline in order to get himself out of a corner . Likewise reviewers on this site have noticed the story telling technique hides several plot holes involving characters appearing and disappearing to and from the story .Of course you don`t notice these flaws at the time due to the awesome onscreen visuals but there is one major criticism you can level at TTT as soon as the credits roll and that`s a lack of an emotional impact . Yes you`ll gasp and cheer and feel your heart race but you won`t burst into tears . Remember the scenes in the first film where the fellowship escape into the mountains after Gandalf has confronted the Balrog or the departure of Boromir ? Remember how your throat tightened and you nearly had a tear run down your face ? Of course you do because these two scenes are amongst the most moving and heart wrenching in cinema history . Unfortunately there is no similar equivalent in TTT . And the film also cries out for a flawed but noble ambigous anti hero like Boromir in a story where everyone is either good or evil and no in between , though this is almost certainly the fault of Tolkien rather than Jackson who does manage to get the best out of his cast in film lacking in character development . Special mention goes to Andy Serkis who alas seems to have missed out on nominations for best supporting actor , Brad Dourif who plays a very slimy villain , and Bernard Hill who made me forget that this is the same actor who played Yosser Hughes in BOYS FROM THE BLACKSTUFF 20 years ago . But I couldn`t help but miss Sean Bean and I suppose casting him as Faramir twin brother of Boromir would have been just too obviousBut despite my criticisms I enjoyed TTT immensely and for three magical hours I forgot all about my nicotine addiction and the world outside . No doubt the audience at the Rothesay cinema felt the same way as me as we watched this film in a hushed silence . We laughed at the right bits , gasped at the technical achievements , but no one cried which means I can only award THE TWO TOWERS 9 out of 10
Spoilers herein.One hallmark of science fiction and fantasy is the creation of a world that includes to some extent the creator. That way, instead of inhabitants bumping around in a world, we get a complex set of interactions: some as a result of the world affecting the players, and some the other way around. Tolkien's work fits well within this tradition, in fact why it was so successful I think is the thoroughness with which he developed the magical laws. The reader not only understood that the magic had power, but had some notion of how it worked. That allowed the reader to exist both <more>
at the level of Frodo and the magical level of the wizards and demigods.That's the soul of the books; not any episode, not any `theme' about brotherhood or hope or any such sodapop.The first film of this saga impressed purely with the sheer ambition of the project, and we now have the second one. It is fun watching, just like `Speed' was in its day, but I'm unhappy with some of the choices that were made.With film, there are specific ways to span the two worlds, ways which a few filmmakers have been exploiting for a long time -- long enough for some of them to appear in mainstream films. Almost none of those techniques were used here. Nearly all the choices were ones that plant us firmly in the world of the inhabitants who are buffeted by the world's forces just like we as people are. This literally boils all the magic out of the books, and we are left with `Braveheart' meets `The Black Cauldron' except slightly more expensively done and with some monsters.The travesty is not that these choices were made to protect the investment in the films, but that so many Tolkien enthusiasts miss the point and argue about whether elves appear in the wrong scenes.Further to the philosophy of the film: the manner in which the characters deal with the camera is roughly equivalent to the relationship the readers' imaginative `eye' has with the text. In addition to being cast at the level of the adventures and not the magic, there are other problems. That stance is inconsistent -- the greatest offense comes in the middle of the great battle. Until then, the players have been dead serious. They've been in their lives, not characters in a movie that wink at us. But all of a sudden, we have a barrage of winking: the `surfing' move, the dwarf-tossing joke, the 007-like standoff on the bridge. All of these depend on us knowing it is a movie and the characters leaving their lives and knowingly entering the movie.Other problems with that stance. The various technologies used each have their own way the camera must be used. The two perspectives that impressed me were the handling of the fight between Gandolf and the balrog and the relationship we have with Gollum. In the first, our eye IS magical as it swoops around sometimes watching the fight, sometimes IN the fight. This use of the camera is new -- I noticed it also last week in `Treasure Planet' when encountering the black hole. But it entirely different than the soliloquies Gollum and several others have. Under the guise of talking to themselves, they are really talking to us, nearly looking at the camera. All of the camera engagement is from Bergman, and is his well-studied solution to the Shakespearean stage technique.I liked both of these, but they are inconsistent with each other, inconsistent with Tolkien's magic as noted and inconsistent with the movieland jokes. But there are even more diverse perspectives. We have the helicopter shots again from `Braveheart' , and a few similar shots of virtual sets. We could have had some new movement like the balrog fight , but we are supposed to recall similar shots.And then there are the Ents, animation straight out of `Poltergeist.' It is another set of views determined by the technology rather the story. Shifting among the bluescreen of hobbits in Ents, to the humanistic CGI Gollum, to the video game animation of the battle was jarring. We never were in Tolkien's world, just browsing through the aisles of your video store, shifting about.LOTR was written with specific notions of reading in mind and is bound to them. But `Dune' was not. Imagine a film of Dune with this budget and Lynch's originality instead of Jackson's `me-too-isms.' Now that would be cool.Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 4: Worth watching.
The Weakest Link - a spoiler or two (by Hairy_Lime)
Really, The Two Towers is the weakest of the three novels, and it is only natural that the middle volume would be a bit of a let down. Jackson does a nice job of trying to lift the story - the battle sequence is fantastic - but to my mind the 10 I might have given for this movie went over the cliff with Aragorn. I have nothing against Jackson deviating from the books - I was not troubled by the changes in the Faramir character, for instance, and adding the Warg riders themselves was a nice touch. But what was the purpose of sending Aragorn over the cliff? Creating false tension that probably <more>
fooled less than 1% of the audience? Screen time for Liv Tyler? All it did for me was make the movie feel false for about ten minutes. This crucial mistake is compunded now that we have the Extended Edition and see some of the scenes that were left out of the theatrical release. the movie would have been stronger without Aragorn's fall, and with, for instance, the scene between Boromir and Faramir, or the march of the trees to the Battle of Helms Deep.Well, so be it. One or two major missteps in a ten hour movie is not unexpected. On its merits, apart from that, this movie, like the whole trilogy, is a magnificent achievement.One question: every time I look, Legolas is shooting dozens of arrows. And every time I look, his quiver is full. Where are the arrows coming from? Elf magic?
A visual masterpiece and better than the first (by bzb2001)
So the journey continues with 'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.' This review will assume you have seen the first film, 'The Fellowship of the Ring.' Which is fine because Peter Jackson, at the helm of this massive production, assumes you have seen it as well. Intelligently, Jackson does not begin with a redundant and unnecessary prologue. He dives right into what the filmmakers considered the hardest of the trilogy to make.When we left the fellowship, they were in shambles. Gandalf had fallen; Merry and Pippen were kidnapped by the evil forces; Aragorn, Legolas, and <more>
Gimli seek their smaller comrades without the help of Boromir, who has also died; this leaves Frodo and Sam on their way to Mount Doom, the one ring still in their grasp.'The Two Towers' is more successful than 'Fellowship' because the storytelling becomes more complex without drowning us in information. The first film introduced us to the many characters of Middle Earth too many, I believe . 'The Two Towers' isn't quite as concerned with exposition, though new characters do come on board. Merry and Pippin meet Treebeard, a large, talking "tree herder" who is concerned about the plight of his forest's future since the destructive orcs and their masters, Sauron and Saruman, burn everything in their path.Legolas, Aragorn, and Gimli enter the kingdom of Rohan and cross paths with King Theoden and his people. Theoden has been under Saruman's spell as part of he and Sauron's master plan to take over the separate kingdoms of Middle Earth. Eowyn, the king's niece, develops a special liking for Aragorn. However, as we understand from the first film, there is still a deep love between Aragorn and the elf Arwen. Along with the rest of the elfs of Middle Earth, Arwen is persuaded to leave for another world entirely. She does have reservations leaving her true love Aragorn, though mortal and she is not, for distant lands and never see him again.Frodo and Sam are introduced to the mysterious Gollum, who attempts to attack the hobbits in their sleep to regain the ring. Instead, Gollum and Frodo kindle a special relationship since they both harbor a certain addiction to the ring's power. Frodo's Elijah Wood is the most effective actor in 'Two Towers' as he is gradually taken more and more over by the ring and it's awesome strength. Gollum becomes Frodo and Sam's guide to Mordor, as he has been there before. Gollum's intentions, though, are never clear to the hobbits - neither are they to Gollum.These three strands of story form a massive, thoroughly effective, epic tale of nature vs. machine, creature vs. creature and, through Frodo, man vs. himself. The encompassing story leads to a heroic battle sequence fought on two fronts, while all the time we wonder how long Frodo can hold on to his sanity as the ring slowly takes power over him.The pacing, which was an issue with 'Fellowship,' is not problematic at all the second time around. The three stories are told in a manner that flows right through the three hour+ tale. One problem that persists is that 'Two Towers' is largely unaffected by the humanity other than Frodo's saga. There is love between Aragorn and Arwen, Eowyn also shows up as a romantic character. Her father, Theoden, is a courageous man but flawed psychologically. There exists connections between these many characters and more but they all feel half baked and cast aside to make more room for fighting.Still, 'The Two Towers' is enormously successful as a narrative and even more ambitious than 'Fellowship' visually. The score, by Howard Shore, is among the very best ever composed. The evil orcs and uruk-hai never look fake and evoke terror in the characters and in the audience. I still yearn for a more personal story, but in other realms of film-making, Peter Jackson and those under his command have outdone themselves. ***.5 out of ****