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The continuing quest of Frodo and the Fellowship to destroy the One Ring. Frodo and Sam discover they are being followed by the mysterious Gollum. Aragorn, the Elf archer Legolas and Gimli the Dwarf encounter the besieged Rohan kingdom, whose once great King Theoden has fallen under Saruman's deadly spell.Written by
Edoras was only filmed during the day, as it was nearly impossible to transport all the necessary night-time lighting equipment up to the location. See more »
While on their way to Helm's Deep, Gimli is telling tales to Eowin and Aragorn in order to while away the long hours of the trip. At several points, however, you can see the direction of the battle ax's head change from blade forward to blade backwards then forwards again, all within mere seconds of each other. See more »
One section of credits is for the "Hammerhands" (presumably for carpenters). This is a reference to the name of the "historical" founder of Helm's Deep, Helm Hammerhand. Also, apprentice builders are known as "hammerhands" in New Zealand. See more »
In November 2003, an extended edition was released on DVD with over 40 minutes of new footage. The EE is a complete re-cut of the movie and almost every scene includes small changes in framing, pacing, dialogue or camera angle. Major changes are listed (spoiler warning):
After Frodo wakes up, there is a scene of Frodo and Sam descending a cliff with the help of the elvish rope. The title now appears over a panoramic shot of the hills.
There is a brief shot of Frodo and Sam huddled under their cloaks during a rain storm, with Gollum following.
After his taming, Gollum debates whether to take the hobbits to Mordor or not
The first scene with Merry and Pippin is expanded. It is made clear that there are two groups of orcs, one from Mordor and one from Isengard. They also force Merry to drink a vile orc draught.
In Saruman's first scene, he orders his orcs to cut down Fangorn forest to feed the fires of Isengard and the wildmen swear allegiance to him.
An extended sequence in which Eomer finds Theodred at the Fords of Isen and brings him back to Edoras.
When Eomer is banished, he is presented with a banishment order signed by King Theoden.
In the camp outside of Fangorn, extra dialogue makes it clear that the orcs think Merry or Pippin has the Ring. An orc sneaks up behind the hobbits and is about to attack them when he is beheaded (correcting a goof in the theatrical version). There is also a little more action when the Rohirrim massacre the orcs.
During the passage of the marshes, Gollum refuses to eat the elvish bread. There is additional dialogue between Frodo, Sam and Gollum.
Lots of extra dialogue in the scene where Gandalf reappears, including Legolas noting the the elves taught the trees to talk and Gandalf predicting that Merry and Pippin will rouse the Ents.
While taking the Hobbits to his home, Treebeard recites poetry that puts the hobbits to sleep. He then leaves them there, going off to summon the Ents.
During the ride to Edoras, Gandalf and the others camp for the night. Gandalf and Aragorn discuss the coming war and Frodo's quest.
After the Black Gate sequence is a new scene. Merry and Pippin drink from a stream near Treebeard's home and grow taller. They are then attacked by a tree before being rescued by Treebeard. Treebeard then tells them about the Entwives.
After Aragorn stops Theoden from killing Wormtongue, he extends his hand to Grima. Grima spits on it and then runs off.
A brief funeral scene for Theodred which includes Eowyn singing.
A new scene in which Aragorn calms Theodred's horse Brego and sets him loose. (This is the horse that later picks up Aragorn beside the stream).
A new scene in which Grima describes Aragorn to Saruman, who scoffs at the "Heir of Isildur".
Before leaving Edoras, Theoden assures his squire that they will return.
Extra dialogue when Sam and Frodo are captured by Faramir, emphasizing Faramir's dislike of war.
During the march to Helm's deep, Theoden tells Aragorn about Eowyn. Eowyn serves Aragorn a vile-looking stew during the trip and he tells her his remarkable age after she realizes he is one of the Dunedin.
Additional dialogue in Arwen and Aragorn's parting.
When Frodo and Sam are brought to the cave, they are told that Boromir's cloven horn was found. Faramir then remembers a dream of Boromir's funeral boat passing him on the river. This leads to an extended flashback of Boromir and Farmair reclaiming Osgiliath from Mordor. Denethor (their father) expresses his disappointment with Faramir and then sends Boromir to Rivendell to claim the Ring.
Faramir's men beat Gollum after catching him.
Right before the women and children are sent into the caves, Eowyn asks Aragorn to let her fight beside him.
During the preparation at Helm's Deep, there is a cut to the Entmoot. Treebeard tells the Hobbits the Ents have just finished saying "Good morning".
A little more fighting during the battle at Helm's Deep.
After Treebeard discovers the destroyed part of the forest and sounds the alarm, thousands of trees, the Huorns, depart to join the battle at Helm's Deep.
When the orcs retreat from Helm's Deep, they find a forest, made up of the Huorns, waiting to destroy them.
We find out who won the orc-killing contest between Gimli and Legolas.
After the destruction of Isengard, Merry and Pippen discover a rich larder of food, including a supply of pipe-weed from the Shire.
Faramir shows Frodo and Sam a way out of the city. He realized that Gollum's secret route is Cirith Ungol and advises Frodo not to take it, then threatens Gollum.
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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