FBMR - The Two Towers
Film-Buff Movie Reviews


THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS (2002) ***1/2

Once again, we have a movie with no definite ending, ending with the Hobbits, Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) and Sam Gamgee (Sean Astin), still on their quest, much like THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING ended. But this film hasnít a definite beginning either, and doesnít do much for filling in the viewer should they not have seen THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING. It is very important to see the first movie in the series before this one, just as itís important to see this second one before the conclusion, RETURN OF THE KING. These films arenít made to stand on their own, but are each an important part of the whole story. Apparently, J.R.R. Tolkien, writer of the novels on which these films are based, initially wanted his story to appear as one large book, but the publishers feared that no one would want to read a book 4 million pages long (Iím exaggerating, I know). So they asked him to divide the story into three volumes. And from a filmmakerís point of view, as well as a movie-goer, to spend 9 hours to watch one movie, could prove difficult. Although Iím certain that at some point people will have The Lord Of The Rings parties where they watch all three films back to back to back.

At the beginning of the film, we find the Fellowship still finding their own paths after they were separated towards the end of the first film. Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd) escape from their Orc captors and flee into the woods where they encounter a tree shepherd. And their scenes seem to drag as slow as these tree creatures, themselves, move. The special effects are great, but it was frustrating to watch these Hobbits try to speed things along to no avail. Aragon (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) end up in Rohan after an encounter with the White Wizard. Saruman (Christopher Lee) is preparing his army of Orcs for the war for Middle Earth and are set to strike Rohan first with ten thousand troops. Gollum (Andy Serkis), acting as guide, and is battling an inner conflict, leads Frodo and Sam to Mordor, but are then captured by the men of Gondor who have been in pursuit of the Ring in an attempt to swing events in their favour.

This is great story telling, although it was slower than I expected when friends told me that the whole movie was a lot of fighting. It actually takes the first half of the movie to lead up to the battle of Rohan. The special effects are wonderful, especially Gollum. Fight sequences are well done also.