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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
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73 out of 82 people found the following review useful:

A True Fantasy Movie

Author: Mithrindir from NY, USA
30 December 2004

From the beginning to the very end, the Lord of the Rings trilogy is interesting and enjoyable. The books and the movies alike grasp one's attention as if they were real. You, the reader or viewer, can sense the pain of the characters, their emotions. The trilogy is truly powerful on screen. The second movie, however, I believe has something the first and third are missing; it feels like a bridge connecting two great islands. There is something unique about it that cannot easily be described. Metaphorically, the first movie is, say, a soldier. The third movie is the path home from war. And the second movie is the act of coming home because it contains the obstacles that must be passed through before achieving the goal. Although not 100% loyal to the written trilogy, the movies are done in such a way that the mainstream audience and LOTR fans from before the movies came out can say they were enjoyable and well made.

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92 out of 131 people found the following review useful:

Great One

Author: David Castor ( from Eslöv, Sweden
18 December 2002

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 nazgûls 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 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).

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65 out of 100 people found the following review useful:

Better Paced than the first, the battle for Isengard was excellent

Author: Justin Chan from Philadelphia, Pa
18 December 2002

We have been waiting an entire year for this one!!! The Two Towers picks up right where last years Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring leaves off. The director, Peter Jackson, did not include a recap of the last movie, so if you don't remember what happened in the first movie you better rent it and refresh your memory before you head off to the theater.

When we last left our fellowship, it had splintered apart. Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) and Sam Gamgee (Sean Astin) continue there quest to return the all powerful and evil ring to Mordor where it can be destroyed. They take on the creature Gollum (Andy Serkis) as their guide to Mordor despite Gollum's obsession with getting `his precious' back. Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) begin by trying to find the kidnapped Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd), but end up getting caught up in a battle to save a race of humans. The evil wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee), controlled by Dark Lord Sauron created a grand Uruk-hai army that is sent to destroy the race of Humans at the fortress Isengard. The presumed dead Gandolf (Ian McKellen) also returns to lend his assistance in battling Lord Sauron's troops.

This film was better paced than the first in the trilogy. There were still some breaks in the action that were a little dull, but the dialog was necessary to further the story. With three separate stories going on simultaneously between the three groups of the splintered fellowship, the film kept the action moving quickly. Clocking in at 179 minutes, it is just one minute longer than the first film. This time, I didn't mind the length. The battle for Isengard comprised about a third of the film, and it was very intense.

The rest of the film had a lot of the same excellent cinematic shots as the first movie. The shots tracking the actors from above (done by helicopter) with the beautiful New Zealand mountains and countryside in the background were just amazing. The landscapes helped to keep me involved with the story when the action slowed for dialog intensive scenes.

The creature Gollum played a very key roll in this movie, and the computer-generated character was very lifelike and amusing. He reminded me of Dobby the `house elf' in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Gollum and the Dwarf were the two main comic relief characters in this very serious film.

To conclude, we had to wait a year for this film, and it lived up to expectations! A final reminder…this is the middle film in the trilogy so you can expect another ending that leaves you wanting more! Not to worry though, the third and final film is due out next Christmas.

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33 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

Jackson remains a genius, and this series remains a masterpiece--Faithful enough to Tolkein, and a fantastic movie!

Author: bopdog from Great Pacific Northwest
18 December 2002

I've read ---with care and delight--- the books four times in the last 34 years, including the recent reversion to Tolkein's "original" manuscript, edited by his son. I'm a fan. There, I said it, and I'm glad, I tell you!

This second installment of the trilogy is probably as good as a movie could get. It captures the Tolkein vibe probably as well as it could be captured in a theatrical release. Watching the flick tonight I realized that much of the vaunted charm of the very readable and very "literary" Tolkein books is in part the time it takes to read the long pages--- 1,000 to 1,400 pages, depending on the edition your are holding. And that time--- weeks and weeks of pouring over pages, re-reading certain passages, pondering and mulling over the fake languages and songs, and histories Tolkein concocted--- allows one to create and invent the Tolkein world inside oneself. That's GREAT! I loved each time I read the original. But no one could possibly expect a movie to give you, in 2-1/2 hours, that kind of luxurious lingering in the fantasy world. Duh!

Therefore, the movie's focus on action--- and FYI, it is dead-on accurate and faithful to the books--- is OK. The Ents' meeting in the forest took 3 or 4 DAYS in the book, and Merry and Pippin spent many more days hanging with Treebeard. The movie telescoped that down into a few hours. But hey!!! Think about it--- how could a movie, ANY movie, capture all of the sylvan reverie (including the Hobbits growing a couple of feet taller with the Entwash, etc.) in a trilogy movie series? All of that dreamy book-world stuff would be great to see on the screen--- but it would take dozens and dozens of hours of screen-time. Who could sit in a theater for that many weeks? There aren't that many "festive" people on the planet to make such a theatrical release profitable.

Maybe if we were wishing, we could have wished for a 30 or 40 hour TV mini-series. Then we COULD afford to meander and linger and all of that. Seriously--- I'd have enjoyed it. But then, the battles and evil empire and such would have to be portrayed with a vigor equal to Jackson's efforts, else the drama and peril (etc.) would be lost. For MY ridiculous wishing, then, I'm wishing for them to have made two projects--- the 3 theater-release movies, AND a 30-hour TV mini-series for all the "literary" vibe. But then, instead of a $300 million triology, we'd have had a $1 BILLION dollar (but memorable!) TV mini-series. Oh well--- if wishing were having...

Overall, "LOTR Two Towers" is an excellent movie! A "10" out of "10"!!!

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29 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

My Visit To The Cinema

Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland
27 January 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

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 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 obvious

But 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

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19 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely, totally fantastic!

Author: Boba_Fett1138 from Groningen, The Netherlands
19 March 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Watching this movie is like watching a 179 or 223 minutes long action sequence. The pace is incredibly high. Alright I have to admit that the Extended Edition of the "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" takes an awful lot of this pace away and make some of the scene's unnecessary long and the scene's with Treebeard are also a bit dull and long but still...Especially compared to the first that was just too slow at times this is an huge improvement!

Luckily there also are some welcome additions in the Extended Edition. Best addition are the scene's with Boromir, Faramir and Denethor in Osgiliath.

There also are some newly great characters and actors. David Wenham is a surprisingly talented young actor and I think it's great that they actually have cast someone that really looks like Sean Bean. Bernard Hill also impressed me, he probably is best know for his role as the captain in "Titanic" in which he also already impressed me. Viggo Mortensen probably still is the best actor of "The Lord of the Rings" movies. Yes sure Ian McKellen and Christopher Lee are also more than great but Mortensen really puts some passion and effort in his character. I know Sean Astin is always being praised a lot but I seriously don't think that he is such a good actor in any of "The Lord of the Rings" movies. Andy Serkis also was really good as Gollum/Sméagol and I wouldn't had mind seeing him get an Oscar nod.

Strange thing is that the Gimli and Legolas suddenly changed into some comical sidekick characters. It was odd to see but it works! They provide some good comical relief at times.

Most fantastic thing about the movie is that it's really action filled. The Battle of Helm's Deep truly is fantastic to see. Still favorite and most powerful moment of the movie is when the Ent's march to war. Also the scene's with the riders of Rohan are a true spectacle.

I've never been really a big fan of the editing of "The Lord of the Rings" movies and this one is no exception. Problem is that Peter Jackson shot way too many hours of footage with as a result that the editors have difficulties picking the right scene's and the length of them.

But "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" is one of those movies were the pluses make more than up for the minuses.

A spectacular adventure action experience.


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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

"There's some good in this world Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for."

Author: classicsoncall from Florida, New York
28 December 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"The Lord of the Rings" continues it's epic quest in this second installment of the trilogy, as the original fellowship is disbanded and it's various members must continue the good fight. While Frodo and Sam pursue their mission to Mordor, Pippin and Merry manage to escape the Uruk hai into the Fangorn Forest and their own adventure with the Ents. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli traverse the Riddermark into the realm of Rohan.

The One Ring begins to deepen it's spell over Frodo who questions his worthiness and stomach for the mission. This facet of his character allows Sam (Sean Astin) to portray his devotion and loyalty to his master, particularly when Gollum makes his appearance and becomes their guide. Gollum's looks are rivaled only by his treachery, and the duality of his personality is given emphasis in the tortured conversations he has with himself. I was a bit surprised at the way Gollum was portrayed in "The Two Towers"; his cameo appearance in the first film as a slinky black cave denizen more closely resembled Tolkien's description and corresponded to the mental image I took away when reading about it. At the same time though, there was almost a comic element to it, whereas his physical features presented here more accurately allowed for a menacing but tortured creature.

Even more fantastic creatures find CGI life in the film; I found the presentation of the Ents to be masterfully done. The "olyphants" were a neat touch and I was happy to see them included. Of course the orcs, wargs and Uruk hai all personify the evil that befalls Middle Earth in this dire time, and their presence instills fear and dread for the heroes all along the way.

There's a lot going on in the film, and repeated viewings are helpful, along with an understanding created by reading Tolkien's story. Though not entirely necessary to enjoy the movie, I feel it grounds the viewer in the rich background of the characters and locations. Actually, the books and the film complement each other nicely, even though the movie of necessity must leave out some elements.

There is no doubt that "The Lord of the Rings" has earned it's reputation as one of the greatest epic films of all time and the best fantasy film of them all. At the same time, it does a wonderful job of examining such themes as honor, loyalty, friendship and love as it's characters interact with each other and find common ground against a threat to their very existence.

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13 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

The Best Imaginable Second Chapter

Author: dreamlanzerl from Canada
31 December 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For this movie, Peter Jackson was faced with a challenge: how to make a great stand-alone film when the beginning and ending are in separate movies? He did a magnificent job. Like the first one, this movie starts with a slam-bang battle; however, where the first film had armies, this film has a clash between two titans.

From there, the movie builds to the enormous set-piece siege. And, along the way, we meet one of the most interesting characters of this, or any movie: Gollum, the complex, torn, schitzophrenic slave to the will of the One Ring.

And, even more than the first film, the Ring is also a character: the viewer can see it wearing down Frodo, pushing him to the limit, tempting those around him. The encounter at Osgiliath, while not in the book, is a fascinating visual realization of more subtle themes in the book. I know that, when I walked out of the theatre, I knew that there was only one movie I was looking forward to during the next year, and that was Return of the King.

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26 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

A Second Look, With Subtitles In Parts, Made This Much Better

Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
2 August 2006

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 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?

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Sophomore effort shines as brightly as the first.

Author: grendelkhan from Xanadu
7 January 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After Fellowship, the world wondered if Peter Jackson could sustain the momentum. The Two Towers is the shortest segment and the story is split into parallel tales. More characters enter the story, including one of the most important. Can Jackson do it? Of course he can.

Spoilers: Two Towers sustains the magic of Fellowship, while expanding the scope of the story. Gollum enters the picture, in full view not shadow, and is a triumph to behold.

The story cuts back and forth between Merry and Pippin's encounter with Treebeard and the Ents; Gimli, Legolas and Aragorn and their attempts to locate the hobbits and free them; and Sam Frodo and Gollum as they move closer to Mordor. Each aspect is well covered, without losing track of the other story. Rohan provides the setting for the first great battle (aside from the prologue in Fellowship) and what a battle it is. Gandalf returns, much changed from his encounter with the balrog. The evil of Wormtongue appears, and Theoden, Eowyn and Eomer take the stage.

There are many great moments, from the mounted battles to Gollum and Smeagol's dialogue, Legolas' surf archery to Theoden's cure. Helm's Deep is a spectacular segment that takes one back to the epic films of the past. Darkness looms for Frodo and Sam, as Frodo slips deeper under the spell of the ring. He finds new, and sometimes strange, allies; as well as new foes. His journey becomes more difficult with each step.

The quality of the production continues. The Rohirrum are a sight to behold and do conjure images of the lost Anglo-Saxons. The battle scenes are engaging and terrifying. War is depicted with all of its consequences. Your heart is torn as you see the young separated from their parents, innocents are killed, and destruction abounds. At the same time, strength and hope come to those in desperate need and courage comes in the unlikeliest of moments. You find yourself in the lowest depths, as all seems lost; and then your heart soars, as hope comes at the last moment. This is storytelling at its finest.

This is not a sequel, it is another chapter in an epic saga. As such, it builds on the previous chapter and advances the story. The pace quickens as the conflict rises. The stakes are higher and the danger greater. The audience is on the edge of their seat, as darkness looms, while the threads of hope begin to weave together. The stage is set for the final battle.

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