The Lord of the Rings-The Two Towers
In case you haven't heard: This is the second movie in the Lord of the Rings
trilogy. It starts immediately where the first left off (no explanations or
introduction) right after Frodo and Sam were separated from the rest of the
Fellowship. In this movie we follow three groups: Frodo and Sam's movement
towards Mordor (with Gollum), Merry and Pippin's adventures with Treebeard and
the Ents, and Aragorn/Legolas/Gimli/etc.'s travel to King Theoden and then a
spectacular battle at Helm's Deep.
What I Thought
I am in awe. And speechless. OK, not exactly. :)
I loved this movie. It was amazing. All right, I'll get to some details.
First the good stuff:
- Another 3 hour movie. Woo hoo! Can't wait for the 3.5 hour extended DVD
version again! :)
- Amazing acting, especially from Ian McKellen. His little winks and shrugs
just make Gandalf into a whole other person. At one point, he gravely
pronounces "Look for me at first light on the fifth morning", and then gives
the funniest little "I'm way too old to be doing this sort of stuff" sigh and
shrug (right before galloping away on a horse). Viggo
Mortensen, who plays Aragorn also shows some great acting skills. We meet
Eowyn for the first time (Miranda Otto), who's just wonderful. We also get to
see Grima Wormtongue (wonderfully played by Brad Dourif). VERY interesting
scene when he's with Saruman, and his tear when Saruman shows him the army.
- Gollum. Wow. I could not take my eyes off him. The CGI is soooo amazingly
good. I was constantly surprised how much depth he was given, at points you
felt afraid of him, and at others you felt sorry and pity for him. You just
couldn't help but want to help him, like Frodo does. Episode 2 Yoda, eat your
- Since this is a transitional movie, Peter Jackson (the director) gives
some appropriate "character" scenes, gives many characters time to develop and
flesh themselves out. In other words, he doesn't rush anything.
- The battle sequences. They're really nearer the end of the movie, but wow.
The battle at Helm's Deep is very well staged and played out. Again, Jackson
doesn't rush anything.
- The music is wonderful. Much better than the first one. I see they learned
their lessons and jettisoned the Enya/Titanic flute music. Good for them!
Now the bad stuff:
- Another 3 hour movie. Non-fans watch out. My movie partner fell asleep at
one point (we went to an 11 pm showing, past his bedtime).
- The movie tends to drag a little for you non-fans. I say "for you
non-fans" because for a fan, the "dragging" scenes bring through some of
Tolkien's poetry and introspection. Not everyone will be interested in the
"Who am I?" philosophical question from King Theoden.
- Sorry, but I think the guy who plays Elrond (Hugo Weaving, he was the bad
guy in The Matrix) is totally wrong for the part. So the scenes with him just
don't do anything for me. His voice and intonation are too cheesy, he's
playing Elrond as if he were in a B-movie or something.
- They REALLY should hand out maps at the theater. It's gonna be hard to
follow for non-fans. We finally had a good map scene where King Theoden and
Aragorn are pointing at a map, but not nearly enough...