Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers (2002) – movie review

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Movie Review by EDF

Starring: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Sean Astin, Liv Tyler
Director: Peter Jackson

The eagerly awaited continuation of THE LORD OF THE RINGS saga brings with it high expectations that it will at least be as good if not better than THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING. For those of you who have not viewed the first movie, shame on you. Buy it or rent it but somehow go and see it and then come back to me later. For everybody else, this has been worth waiting a whole year waiting for.

With the break-up of the Fellowship following the deaths of Boromir and Gandalf The Grey, the remaining seven Fellowships split up, each determined to defeat the dark forces threatening to wreak havoc over Middle Earth. Hobbits Sam (Sean Astin) and Frodo (Elijah Wood), the bearer of the Ring, head towards Mordor but end up walking round in circles. The Hobbits soon realise that the vile and pathetic creature Gollum, the previous keeper of the Ring, who wants to retake his precious Ring, is following them. The Hobbits capture Gollum but will only release him if he takes them to Mordor.

The other two Hobbits, Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd), escape from their captors, the Uruk-hai, and find an unlikely alliance in a nearby forest with Treebeard, a living, walking tree-shepherd.

Meanwhile, Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Gimli (John Rhys-Davis) pursue the Uruk-hai who have been slain by soldiers loyal to the Rohan kingdom. Figuring out that Merry and Pippin have escaped and are safe, the three warriors are joined by an old friend, the reborn Gandalf The White (Ian McKellen). They continue on to the Rohan kingdom where Gandalf uncovers a damning alliance between the influential king’s aide, Wormtongue (Brad Dourif) and the evil wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee). Gandalf breaks the aging spell that had unnaturally turned King Theoden (Bernard Hill) into an old man and Wormtongue is allowed to flee back to Saruman.

King Theoden decides to move his people to the last remaining stronghold of human resistance, Gondor. Knowing Theoden’s plan is flawed, Gandalf departs, seeking more help for the doomed Rohans. Meanwhile Saruman figures out Theoden’s next move and sends out an ambush party, which is defeated by Theoden’s forces but at a high cost as Aragorn falls off a cliff, into a river below and is presumed dead. Arriving at Gondor, they wait for the inevitable attack on the stronghold.

There was a rumour that this middle segment of THE LORD OF THE RINGS would not live up to the first movie due to the three-way story split. Stories of arguments between Peter Jackson and the producers about the running time (Jackson had to cut out some scenes) meant that, fortunately, the story moves at a reasonable pace. Action sequences are so well edited; it feels as though you’re in the thick of the action.

The star of the show has got to be Gollum. Kept in the shadows in the first movie, here he comes to the forefront and while there is reason to hate the creature, we begin to understand that he is no more than a mere puppet, driven by the evil power projecting from the Ring. Unfortunately, Frodo sees himself in Gollum and ends up trusting him. One outstanding scene is where we find Gollum arguing with himself, showing both his good and evil sides. With CGI this convincing, George Lucas must be a worried man.

So far the first two LORD OF THE RINGS movies have been fantastic, a year almost seems too long. With this kind of quality the final movie in the trilogy will be worth the wait.

6 out of 6 stars