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Eight years after the Joker's reign of anarchy, the Dark Knight is forced to return from his imposed exile to save Gotham City from the brutal guerrilla terrorist Bane with the help of the enigmatic Selina.
While Frodo and Sam, now accompanied by a new guide, continue their hopeless journey towards the land of shadow to destroy the One Ring, each member of the broken fellowship plays their part in the battle against the evil wizard Saruman and his armies of Isengard.
Really, I should probably let this film soak in a bit; I am, after all, on something of a "post-viewing" high right now. However, at this moment, my feeling remains the same from the first installment - this is the movie experience I've been waiting my whole life for. In case you haven't gathered, this movie is visually stunning, literally breathtaking. I mean that, some of the scenes in this film simply stopped my lungs in their tracks, shocked at the pure, enveloping beauty of the shot. Peter Jackson has a profound grasp of visual manipulation like few directors have ever had.
The acting is, as always, superb. Kudos for hiring "actors" not "stars"; "Oscar-worthy" over-acting could have threatened the realistic touch the film's remarkable cast supply. Specific mention goes to both John Rhys-Davies in his well enjoyed comic turn, and very largely to Andy Serkis, who was a major role in creating the most realistic and brilliantly well-performed CGI character I've ever seen (Gollum).
For the most part, and as a fan of the books, I take no offense to the slight plot modifications. My understanding is that Tolkien himself realized that visual adaptation of LotR would require a somewhat different take on his work, and was apparently open to such minute changes. There are also a few tiny bits and pieces I was disappointed to see not make the final cut, however, I'm sure a future inevitable extended DVD will take care of those.
In short, if you found the continual enjoyment I did with the first movie of LotR, this movie will in no way let you down. Not even for a minute.
Highly recommended, 10/10.
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