The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) Poster

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An Epic in every sense of the word.
Grey Gardens12 August 2010
Peter Jackson truly outdid himself when creating the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and he fails to disappoint us in the 2nd part of the Trilogy. The Two Towers shows us that he is not a one-hit wonder, like so many directors are. I actually think that The Two Towers reaches the same level as the Fellowship of the Ring, and sometimes even surpasses it.

This film is the biggest film in the trilogy. What do I mean by that? Well this film has so many things going like the amazing Battle of Helms Deep. Frodo and Sam journey to Mount Doom, to destroy the Ring. But the one who's leading them through the way is Gollum, he looks so creepy and realistic, that he doesn't feel disconnected from us. A powerful performance by Andy Serkis as Gollum, he should of been nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

The Best part of the film, is quite easily and everyone knows it the ending. The ending of the battle of Helm's Deep is quite breathtaking, and as Gandalf the White comes in the distance with another army to defeat the Orcs. When Treebeard and his army of Entz tear down Isengard, the destruction and the battle is so immense in size, that you truly have to see to believe.

In size and scale, Peter Jackson has truly redefined the word "epic" and he also pays attention to the small things that truly elevate this movie from great to amazing. I definitely recommend this film to everyone, but you really should watch the first movie to truly understand what's going on.

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A standing ovation for all concerned.
Charlie W19 December 2002
It seems ridiculous to want to add my own comments to a slew of others that are already in IMDB's records, but I feel like I cannot sleep nor cease the throbbing in my chest until I release some of what I have so recently seen.

Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings is one of the bravest projects ever attempted by a filmmaker. Mr Jackson deserves every ovation he will receive, every award, every bit of the praise and adoration that will be spoken and written.

This second installment of the story is a masterpiece in every sense, forget your prejudices about the books, they are another way of looking at this beautiful story (I know this is slightly against the rules, but a I cannot resist saying that a previous writers comment - a comment that compared the Lord of the Rings Films and Books to the difference between Romeo and Juliet in screenplay and ballet formats - was entirely accurate).

Gollum was an excellent amalgam, so easily could he have been an annoying Jar-Jar-Binks-Alike. Instead the way that Jackson and Serkis (and doubtless many many others) chose to portray the CGI incarnation of "Smeagol" was incredibly emotive and powerful. Gollum is profoundly disturbing, amusing, almost lovable... Not even John Ronald Reuel himself could induce that range of emotions for Smeagol in me...

A truly skin-crawling performance by a superb Brad Douris as the evil Grima Wormtongue was just beyond words. Douris _Became_ Wormtongue in a skillful fulfillment of what was already inspired casting.

Probably the most definitive casting of this film though was Manchester born Bernard Hill as Theoden, King of Rohan. The casting for "The Two Towers" makes one shake ones head and wonder, in retrospect, whether anyone else could have filled these roles. Mr Hill's performance was truly first rate, a performance which contributed greatly to "The Battle of Helms Deep", scenes which were a spinning tornado of emotions for the viewer.

Viggo Mortensen goes from strength to strength. His performance is visceral and yet sensitive. The overriding emotion that Tolkiens vision of Aragorn induced (at least for me) was awe at his heroics. Mortensen's portrayal in Jackson's frame brings new aspects to the Aragorn character. Mortensen's Aragorn is emotionally dextrous to go with his physical dexterity, he is sensitive, seemingly empathic, warmer and more fundamentally human, and yet super-human in presence and charisma. "Definitive" is not strong enough of a word.

If you still view Jackson's epic with scepticism I implore you to put down your preconceptions and your prejudices, but most of all put down the books... This is beautiful way to see middle earth, don't pass it up - The books are the ultimate fantasy epic - the pictures you draw in your head are better than anything you can imagine, but The Lord of the Rings "The Two Towers" is one wonderful interpretation of that epic story.

Go, Laugh, Cry, and Sit in Awe of this cinematic treat.
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A True Fantasy Movie
Mithrindir30 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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Hail The Heroes!
docmonster18 December 2002
Every great adventure story worth telling has a solid hero - someone who puts others before themselves and uses their talents to do their best at keeping the forces of evil at bay even if it means the loss of life and limb. At its core, this movie has eight such heroes and each one lives up to the call. From Pippin and Merry, the lost hobbits who aid the Ents in battle, to Gandalf, Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas who held back the hordes at Helms Deep to Frodo and Samwise who continue to make their dangerous and arduous trek to Mount Doom. All of these characters are heroes and they're played with love, respect and meaning.

Though the acting in this film was top notch throughout, I found myself amazed by Gollum's (motion captured body and voice by Andy Serkis) overall performance. Though obviously CGI, there was so much emotion in this character that I couldn't help believe he was real! Though "Final Fantasy" was the only movie that created the most realistic CGI characters that dominated an entire film, Gollum is lightyears ahead with the simple fact that this deformed li'l hobbit seemed human. He had the spark of life behind those eyes that the FF "cast" lacked.

As a film, this movie has it all - action, drama, comedy - but none of it would've worked without characters we cared about, villains we despised and heroes we cheered for. With the obvious success of the first two installments, the release of the final film next December may prove this to be THE BEST trilogy ever made!
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The final hour of The Two Towers is grand, terrifying, and epic on a biblical level.
justinrsko8 December 2002
The opening scene of The Two Towers provides an outstanding, yet very brief, taste of action, cinematography, and special effects, only to be matched (and far surpassed) in the final hour of the film. The stunning events of the third hour of The Two Towers are undoubtedly the centerpiece of the film, and while the first two hours serve finely as story development, they primarily build anticipation for the final hour, which mostly depicts the battle of Helm's Deep. More than anything else, the first two hours merely tease and torment the patient audience. It's a shame that such a gap has to exist between the first minute and the final hour, but I take no reservations in saying that despite how you feel about the first two hours of the film, the final hour will make the wait entirely worth its while.

As stated, the road to the battle of Helm's Deep can be enormously long and painful for any viewer aware of what breathtaking scenes await towards the end of the film. Perhaps The Two Towers' biggest fault is in its own accomplishments; the first two thirds of the film are well shot, well paced, and they necessarily and adequately progress the storyline, but when compared to the spectacular final hour, the first two hours seem uneventful and insignificant. However, to be fair, I feel that it's simply impossible to create two hours of film that could appropriately lead into the battle of Helm's Deep. It's difficult to comprehend how such scenes came to exist in the rather short amount of time Peter Jackson has had to create six hours (so far) of finished film. The battle of Helm's Deep is simply unreal; it's unlike any event that has come to pass since fantasy films gained, and regained, popularity.

As assumed, The Two Towers begins where The Fellowship of the Ring ended. The majority of the film follows four separate groups and their story lines: Frodo and Sam; Aragorn and Legolas, Merry and Pippin, and Saruman and his army. The performances live well up to the standards of the first film, with a particularly notable performance from Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn, whose role is significantly larger in The Two Towers. Aragorn satisfies a thirst for someone to root for, a thirst that was left partly unquenched in Fellowship. It's much easier to root for Aragorn than it is for Frodo; Aragorn has many more qualities of a leading man, a soldier, and a hero. More than once did the audience, filled mostly with academy voters, applaud the heroics of Aragorn. Gollum also shines in a much-welcomed large role, due to extremely realistic computer animation, and a fine performance from Andy Serkis, upon which the animation was modeled. In Fellowship, it was appropriate to consider Gollum one of the many great 'features' of the film. However, here he is more of a leading character and a 'star,' and his convincing dual-personality, stabbing voice, and well-choreographed body movements make him consistently eye-grabbing and the center of focus of nearly every scene in which he appears.

As was The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers is a visual delight. Those who have seen Fellowship are no doubt familiar with the beauty of the landscapes of New Zealand. The cinematography is, again, one of the best aspects of the film. The swooshing camera movements that follow the armies and horsemen throughout the fields are extremely satisfying in this post-Matrix era. The shots of the ascending enemy-laden ladders in the battle of Helm's Deep are terrifying and chillingly gorgeous all at once. The visual effects take an appropriate leap forward from those of the first film. While the visual effects in Fellowship were outstanding, the battle of Helm's Deep provides for the best application of CGI since the rippling waves of The Matrix's 'Bullet Time.' The battle of Helm's Deep features absolutely awe-inspiring and seamless integration of acting, stunts, and computer animation. Each orc seems to have its own personality, demonstrated in its movements and visual features. The masses of armies fight with strategy and true character, which I imagine is much harder to accomplish than animating thousands of identical clone troopers. The only problem I have with the visual department is the look of Gimli, the Treebeard. Gimli's visual features seem a bit childish and uninspired, inconsistent with the standards set by the rest of the film. But again, there is simply nothing that compares to the battle of Helm's Deep. George Lucas and the Wachowski brothers certainly have not created anything that approaches the grandness and magnificence of The Two Towers' final hour, and I doubt they will do so anytime soon.

In The Fellowship of the Ring, I had a few minor problems with Howard Shore's score. While I thought it was gorgeous and it established several very memorable themes, I don't think it handled the sentimental scenes (opening in the Shire, Gandalf's passing) properly. I thought it caved in to the melodrama a bit too much, resembling the emotions from James Horner's Titanic. However, I believe that The Two Towers requires the type of score which Howard Shore accomplishes best: dark, continuous, and unrelenting, as demonstrated in Se7en and Silence of the Lambs. The theme used in many of the action scenes in Fellowship (low brass, six notes repeated with a rest in between) is much more present in The Two Towers, appropriately. A brand new theme is also unveiled, the theme for Rohan, a prominent kingdom in Middle Earth. Rohan's theme is played more often than any other melody in the film, underscoring most of the memorable and heroic scenes with great effect. Howard Shore undeniably exhibits his skills as an 'A-list' composer, and with a possible double Oscar nomination this year for The Two Towers and Gangs of New York, he could get propelled to the very top of the 'A-list,' right beside John Williams and Hans Zimmer in terms of demand.

If not the picture itself, there should be a way to recognize and award the battle of Helm's Deep. The battle sequence alone represents successful filmmaking in its highest form. The choreography of the battle, the visual effects, the pacing, acting, cinematography, and music, all work together in perfection to achieve grand filmmaking which is as entertaining and enjoyable as film can be. For this very reason, no one, whether a fan of Fellowship or not, should miss The Two Towers.
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If you're a fan, that's not about to change.
Joe18 December 2002
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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"There's some good in this world Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for."
classicsoncall28 December 2005
Warning: 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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Absolutely, totally fantastic!
Boba_Fett113819 March 2005
Warning: 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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My precious...
JohnLennon198518 December 2002
Seriously, I never thought a movie could get better than the Fellowship of the Ring, but it did. This movie should be #1 on the IMDb top 250. This movie, as long as it was, captivated me from start to finish, and those who are not entertained by this movie can not be entertained period.

Yes, I have read the book. Any chapters cut out at the end of books III and IV will probably themselves in the next installment. If you haven't noticed, the beginning of the Two Towers was actually closed the Fellowship of the Ring on the big screen.

Gollum was a CG masterpiece. He added some light to this incredibly dark movie. At the same time, there are areas where you feel sorry for the poor guy, or just want to kill him. Smeagol was probably the most diverse character I've ever seen.

Elijah Wood put on a better performance than he did in the first movie, as did Sean Astin. Ian McKellen, who captivated us in the last movie, captivated us even more in this one. Viggo Mortensen, John Rhys-Davies, and Orlando Bloom made a great trio. They laughed together, cried together, prospered together, and suffered together. This trio gave life to Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas. Eowyn expressed her emotions clearly through Miranda Otto.

The music need not be discussed. Its greatness speaks for itself.

Favorite Scene: The Battle of Helms Deep. Possibly the greatest scene in the book, 50% of the trailer, and action packed climax to this beautiful movie.

The movie, like its predecessor, fails to bring us closure, but that's ok. Closure will come next year. I look forward to the Return of the King.

The Two Towers is now my favorite movie of all time.

The scale is broken. 10 is not a capacity sufficient enough to hold this movie... my movie... my... precious...
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Beautiful Perfection
jedsalazar19 December 2002
Warning: Spoilers
The Two Towers can only be explained in one word, beautiful. This film left me breathless. I was hoping for a film that could stand in the same depths of the Fellowship of the Ring, and I must say that it has surpassed the film completely. I will have a hard time watching the Fellowship and seeing the ending, knowing there is so much more waiting.

Let's start with Gollum. Gollum gave an astonishing performance. The poor misunderstood beast, or the darkened soul creature whose cares are only based on the One Ring. The performance given in CGI is at times very human. The facial expressions given could strangely give this character a personality as you would see in any great actor. Gollum's voice is still haunting, even when the beast appears to be the loving guide to the dark gates of Mordor. For these reasons and more, Gollum has become my favorite character in the film, replacing Legolas in the Fellowship.

On the other side of Middle Earth we see Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli. I have to say that the dark times of this movie are at times overbearing, and saddening. There is a perfect mix of humor in the film given by the characters Gimli, and Legolas, while still keeping the viewer in understanding that these are very darkened times. Aragorn's performance is outstanding. He has proven that he can be put on an A-List of actors, and deserves appraise for his performance.

Gandalf "the White" in this film was a twist. We remember the friendly Gandalf The Grey in the Fellowship being a kind elderly wizard. Shouting off fireworks for the children of the shire, and smoking "leaf" as explained in the novel. There are no cute scenes with the new White Wizard. No fireworks, or pipes. Just a Wizard that knows the daunting task ahead, and the quest seems to have taken hold of the great wizard.

Very dark are the times for Frodo, and Samwise. Gollum seams to give Frodo hope, as the two ring bearers can associate the pains of the One Ring. Frodo gives an amazing performance this time around as well. It seams that the Ring of power has taken hold of Frodo, and our hero is slipping. But the surprise was aimed at Samwise. Proving that Sam is the definition of a true best friend. Even at times when it seems there is no hope for the troubled trio, it seams that Sam brings hope to the moment. This is what keeps the Frodo's story this time around even more extraordinary, is the hope that is there, even when all odds point to despair.

Merry and Pippin's story is very odd initially. The Ents in the story are very wise and newly troubled creatures from the amazing mind of Tolkien. This story goes back to cut scenes during the worries of the rest of Middle Earth, and gives us a feeling of hope, in the troubled times of Aragorn and the others. The Ents were very well done CGI wise, but it was there personality that moved the audience. They are curiously wise, and well spoken and give the impression of an elderly college Professor. Their story is eventually given a wonderful opportunity, and for those of us who know the story, know that greatness is upon them.

This movie honestly moved me further than I thought any film could. I could see my face and the emotion I felt as I was watching this mammoth film. Peter Jackson has truly given us all a gift of a magnificent. This story has captivated my heart, and the film has taken my breath away. There is no words that can express the greatness of this film. 10/10
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Sophomore effort shines as brightly as the first.
grendelkhan7 January 2005
Warning: 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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Great One
dcastor18 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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They Accomplished the Near-Impossible.
tfrizzell25 March 2003
"The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" is another excellent installment in the thus far excellent trilogy. The film picks up immediately where "The Fellowship of the Ring" left off as Elijah Wood and Sean Astin continue their long and seemingly hopeless journey to destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mordor. They run into the creature Gollum (played amazingly by Andy Serkis in a revolutionary character-generation). Serkis' motives are unclear as the ring has literally run him insane and created a split personality that combats the character's natural good side. Meanwhile Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan have escaped the dark forces that captured them, but now are in another dilemma as they try to convince a forest of living, moving trees to support their cause for good and truth. Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom and John Rhys-Davies receive more help from the likes of Bernard Hill's army and his lovely niece (Mirando Otto). As all this occurs, Ian McKellen comes back and rehashes a role which seemed to have expired late in the first film. Hugo Weaving and daughter Liv Tyler know that victory is not certain and realize that they must leave their true homes forever to protect themselves and the lives of their people. Christopher Lee continues to create chaos with the help of the highly disturbed Brad Dourif (of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" fame). In the end not one, but two key battles will create the sure-to-be electrifying landscape which will be experienced by all in the franchise's final installment ("The Return of the King"). Many view "The Two Towers" as an achievement even more impressive than its predecessor. True the film does go beyond the technical faculties of "The Fellowship of the Ring", but it is hard for me to pick this installment over the first (which will likely always be my favorite). This film is more intense and you get the feeling of real danger and peril throughout, while the first was more of an emotional experience due to its nice elements of friendship, love and personal sacrifice. In short, "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" is an amazing sequel and it fits in well with the outstanding first film. 5 stars out of 5.
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Jackson remains a genius, and this series remains a masterpiece--Faithful enough to Tolkein, and a fantastic movie!
bopdog18 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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The Greatest of the Three Rings
John Mclaren6 March 2004
Yes, it's true. Return of the King may have won more of the Oscars as the culmination of Peter Jackson's magnificent cinematic achievement, but history will in fact adjudge "The Two Towers" as the greatest of the three Rings. If Fellowship was a road movie and ROTK was a friendship film, then Two Towers is an unadulterated war movie of heroic proportions. Peter Jackson said he based it on "Zulu"- and we can see why. It has a dramatic intensity and flow which none of the other films quite share. Good against evil are so sharply contrasted that you could cut your fingers on them. TTT also has the best score Howard Shore has produced. And it has the best dialogue.

The screenplay explains (with barely disguised contemporary resonance) what we are protecting in Western civilisation when we defend ourselves against those who would wish to destroy it. When Sam tells Frodo that there are "some things worth fighting for", when Merry tells Pippin that there "won't be a Shire" unless they do something about it, when King Theoden laments that "the sun has gone down in the West" this film could be entitled not the "Two Towers" but "the Twin Towers". It is Miltonic in its scope. It is cinema as art.

Yes, one may quibble about certain Entish details, and I know that the Elves weren't supposed to be at Helm's Deem, and that Faramir is a little undeveloped, but does this matter? Not at all. The Extended version is better than the original, but does not need to make such a quantum leap as Fellowship managed with its EE. However it will be a film that is seen as a landmark in cinema. A trilogy which may never be bettered. And a reminder of what we are all here for
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My Visit To The Cinema
Theo Robertson27 January 2003
Warning: 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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A very good, great, fantastic, awesome film!
otisfirefly200117 September 2004
What a great movie. Through the first movie, we already had the whole story set-up, so in The Two Towers in really pick's up.

There is not one thing about this movie that I would change. Maybe one or two of the extra scenes could have been cut out, but they only are there to lead into the sequel.

This movie really shows the wonders of CGI in full effect. And isn't afraid to use them. The battle of Helm's Deep is a blend of live action and CGI(computer generated imagery), which works so perfectly and just comes across as astounding.

The scene's with Aragorn being lost, were not too bad. The lead up into the scene's were great. The scene's show the connection between Aragorn and his horse who finds him near the river.

The further downfall of Frodo as the ring slowly takes hold of him is very well done. Along with this, we also get to see the first more of the attempts of Sam to help, and protect Frodo.

The breaking into different stories was a cool idea. Showing the progression of the characters from the first film to the second. Orlando Bloom's character is givin a larger part. And he proves to have much to do with the plot this time.

All in all, this is a fantastic movie. Rivaled only by The Return of the King.
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Tough to put on film but came out very well
Barky445 August 2004
Long before it came out, I knew The Two Towers would be the toughest of the three Lord of the Rings books to put on film. Not only is it the middle child, but the very structure of the book makes it hard to craft a linear story with all the plot lines in tact and interesting.

But I think Peter Jackson and company did a very good job. It's not as strong as Fellowship, but is still outstanding.

All the elements of the LOTR films are here: the beautiful photography, set designs, costumes, scenery, special effects. All amazing, all brilliant, all Oscar-worthy.

The performances are terrific, too. Bernard Hill, Viggo Mortensen, Elijah Wood, Miranda Otto, all did great jobs. The supporting actors, too.

It is sad that Ian McKellan's role is relegated to almost cameo status, but that's the nature of the book. The biggest shame is Christopher Lee. He has so little screen time in this film, I think he only says two or three lines on camera, the rest is "brooding". Such a waste, he is one of the great actors of our time, a real joy to watch (and a scene stealer to boot).

But the stars of the piece have to be Gollum and Treebeard and the Uruk army. The sequence with the Ents seeing the destruction Saruman wrought upon the trees brought tears to my eyes, and their revenge brought cheers to my voice. The battle of Helm's Deep was probably too long, but impressive nonetheless (and will probably be the model for "epic battle sequences" for years to come). And Gollum. What can be said about Gollum that hasn't already been said. We have entered into a new age of CGI, and, like all great works of art, it has a human soul.

A great film. 9 out of 10, the only items keeping it from getting a 10 are the short-shrifting of Christopher Lee and that some parts don't quite flow too well (a problem rooted in JRR Tolkien's novel, not the fault of the filmmakers).
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Better Paced than the first, the battle for Isengard was excellent
Justin Chan18 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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FilmCreature Reviews 'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers'
FilmCreature7 July 2007
You'd think you can't improve on a 10/10 movie, but this one does, with great action and characters. There isn't much else to say about the special effects that I didn't already in my first review, they're still fantastic. Peter Jackson doesn't treat this like a sequel, it's just the continuing story of heroes battling the forces of evil.

Frodo, now alone except for his buddy Sam (Sean Astin), is on his epic journey to Mount Mordor to destroy The One Ring. He'll encounter Gollum, a wretched creature who's definitely up to something.

And meanwhile Aragorn and friends are trying to protect the little country of Rohan from imminent destruction from the newly-bred Uruk-Hai, vicious monsters crossed with man and elf.

4/4. Wish I'd seen it in theaters.
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If there was a spotlight for all time movie reviews it would be this trilogy-to-be-one film
jasonmg9910 February 2004
I have to say this film starting with the fellowship was incredibly well made. I know Titanic received 11 awards but I think this whole trilogy should receive 15. This intro to the trilogy was extremely in depth and even had the best prologue ever. I enjoy being introduced to the characters and thier origins and learning about the history of the one ring and how it does evil upon middle earth even after Sauron's death. Be patient with the action as is picks up as the trilogy's story unfolds. It all depends on what you see movies for. But this whole trilogy has quite a bit of everything. That alone surpasses all movies.

10/10 (actually more than that)
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The Weakest Link - a spoiler or two
Hairy_Lime9 February 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Really, The Two Towers is the weakest of the three novels, and it is only natural that the middle volume would be a bit of a let down. Jackson does a nice job of trying to lift the story - the battle sequence is fantastic - but to my mind the 10 I might have given for this movie went over the cliff with Aragorn. I have nothing against Jackson deviating from the books - I was not troubled by the changes in the Faramir character, for instance, and adding the Warg riders themselves was a nice touch. But what was the purpose of sending Aragorn over the cliff? Creating false tension that probably fooled less than 1% of the audience? Screen time for Liv Tyler? All it did for me was make the movie feel false for about ten minutes. This crucial mistake is compunded now that we have the Extended Edition and see some of the scenes that were left out of the theatrical release. the movie would have been stronger without Aragorn's fall, and with, for instance, the scene between Boromir and Faramir, or the march of the trees to the Battle of Helms Deep.

Well, so be it. One or two major missteps in a ten hour movie is not unexpected. On its merits, apart from that, this movie, like the whole trilogy, is a magnificent achievement.

One question: every time I look, Legolas is shooting dozens of arrows. And every time I look, his quiver is full. Where are the arrows coming from? Elf magic?
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The Best Imaginable Second Chapter
dreamlanzerl31 December 2004
Warning: 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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The Two Towers! What Is It? The Answer Is: My Precious!
MinorityReporter13 June 2006
The second part of The Lord of the Rings saga maintains the style, momentum and integrity that made the first film as brilliant as it is and thus what Peter Jackson gives us is one of the best sequels ever and certainly the best film of 2002. I prefer the first film for being closer to the book but I completely understand the changes made from book to film and I see why they are necessary to keep the film's narrative flowing instead of dropping dead. The film is not without a few weaknesses mainly because of it being a middle part linking The Fellowship of the Ring and The Return of the King and therefore not having an obvious beginning or an end. This doesn't stop the film from being an experience that people shouldn't be cheated out of.

The acting is, like in the first film, very good and at times even brilliant. Viggo Mortensen improves greatly and provides a more well rounded and believable Aragorn and proves his qualities as an actor especially in the quit moments (of which there are too few in the theatrical release, this was remedied in the extended cut). Also Elijah Wood deepens his character considerably and shows many of the darker sides of his character in the film. This provides for some interesting exchanges between Wood and his faithful companion played by Sean Astin. Bernard Hill is introduced in this film along with the method actor, Brad Dourif. Both of the aforementioned are excellent in their respective parts even though there are some inconsistencies in Hill's character compared to the character from the book. These changes were obviously made for dramatic purposes and are very plausible. Ian McKellen's character, Gandalf, has been somewhat reduced in the second film but instead he steals every scene he is in. Likewise, Hugo Weaving's character has been reduced but he is still very good and keeps his character in the same style as in the first film. Orlando Bloom and John Rhys-Davies returns as well and I have to comment on the choice to make Gimli into comic relief, because while I understand the necessity given that Dominic Monaghan's and Billy Boyd's characters have taken a turn towards more serious characters there had to be someone to relieve the dramatic tension, I found it a shame that Gimli had been reduced to some bumbling clown. Fortunately most of his comic remarks worked. Among other characters introduced are Faramir, played by David Wenham, and Gollum, played beautifully by Andy Serkis. I'll get back to Faramir but for now I have to comment on Gollum. Gollum is quite simply the most interesting film character in the last decade and this relates both to the ground breaking special effects but also Serkis' performance, which was most unfairly not deemed fit for an Oscar nomination. Overall the acting is excellent like in the first film and all actors manages to develop their characters in ways that are at the very least acceptable.

The effects and fight scenes in this second film are among the best ever and is perhaps only bested by some of the effects in the third film in the series. The Gollum character and the battle for Helm's Deep seem to be excellent examples. Gollum is quite simply the most stunning and beautifully created CGI character of all time and he displays extraordinary emotional range. As previously stated The Battle for Helm's Deep is among the finest battle scenes ever created. Well paced and choreographed and above all the editing in between the hectic battle sequences and scared citizens provides for some emotional depth as well (something that was sorely needed in the battle sequences in Star Wars: Episode II). This gigantic battle isn't the only battle in the film. There are many other interesting battles but I'm not going to spoil them so you'll just have to see the film yourself. The battles are consistent with the style that was laid down in the first film they are simply on a much more epic scale.

Some people have raved that the changes made from book to film were too radical but I completely understand and condone the reasons which were obviously dramatic purposes. Especially David Wenham's character has been criticized and after watching it the first time I was a bit unhappy with his character as well but when you think about it the changes in the character were at the very least essential to maintain the narrative structure. There are other examples but it would really be pointless to mention them because the reason is exactly the same as in the case of David Wenham's character. Dramatic purposes.

Overall The Two Towers serves as an excellent link between the Fellowship of the Ring and The Return of the King and it deserves every bit of praise coming to it. One of the very best films of all time.

10/10 - On my top 10 of best films
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A visual masterpiece and better than the first
bzb200112 February 2005
So the journey continues with 'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.' This review will assume you have seen the first film, 'The Fellowship of the Ring.' Which is fine because Peter Jackson, at the helm of this massive production, assumes you have seen it as well. Intelligently, Jackson does not begin with a redundant and unnecessary prologue. He dives right into what the filmmakers considered the hardest of the trilogy to make.

When we left the fellowship, they were in shambles. Gandalf had fallen; Merry and Pippen were kidnapped by the evil forces; Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli seek their smaller comrades without the help of Boromir, who has also died; this leaves Frodo and Sam on their way to Mount Doom, the one ring still in their grasp.

'The Two Towers' is more successful than 'Fellowship' because the storytelling becomes more complex without drowning us in information. The first film introduced us to the many characters of Middle Earth (too many, I believe). 'The Two Towers' isn't quite as concerned with exposition, though new characters do come on board. Merry and Pippin meet Treebeard, a large, talking "tree herder" who is concerned about the plight of his forest's future since the destructive orcs and their masters, Sauron and Saruman, burn everything in their path.

Legolas, Aragorn, and Gimli enter the kingdom of Rohan and cross paths with King Theoden and his people. Theoden has been under Saruman's spell as part of he and Sauron's master plan to take over the separate kingdoms of Middle Earth. Eowyn, the king's niece, develops a special liking for Aragorn. However, as we understand from the first film, there is still a deep love between Aragorn and the elf Arwen. Along with the rest of the elfs of Middle Earth, Arwen is persuaded to leave for another world entirely. She does have reservations leaving her true love Aragorn, though mortal and she is not, for distant lands and never see him again.

Frodo and Sam are introduced to the mysterious Gollum, who attempts to attack the hobbits in their sleep to regain the ring. Instead, Gollum and Frodo kindle a special relationship since they both harbor a certain addiction to the ring's power. Frodo's Elijah Wood is the most effective actor in 'Two Towers' as he is gradually taken more and more over by the ring and it's awesome strength. Gollum becomes Frodo and Sam's guide to Mordor, as he has been there before. Gollum's intentions, though, are never clear to the hobbits - neither are they to Gollum.

These three strands of story form a massive, thoroughly effective, epic tale of nature vs. machine, creature vs. creature and, through Frodo, man vs. himself. The encompassing story leads to a heroic battle sequence fought on two fronts, while all the time we wonder how long Frodo can hold on to his sanity as the ring slowly takes power over him.

The pacing, which was an issue with 'Fellowship,' is not problematic at all the second time around. The three stories are told in a manner that flows right through the three hour+ tale. One problem that persists is that 'Two Towers' is largely unaffected by the humanity other than Frodo's saga. There is love between Aragorn and Arwen, Eowyn also shows up as a romantic character. Her father, Theoden, is a courageous man but flawed psychologically. There exists connections between these many characters and more but they all feel half baked and cast aside to make more room for fighting.

Still, 'The Two Towers' is enormously successful as a narrative and even more ambitious than 'Fellowship' visually. The score, by Howard Shore, is among the very best ever composed. The evil orcs and uruk-hai never look fake and evoke terror in the characters and in the audience. I still yearn for a more personal story, but in other realms of film-making, Peter Jackson and those under his command have outdone themselves. ***.5 out of ****
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