Finally got out to see The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers yesterday. This installment definitely pushes The Lord of the Rings saga into one of the best epics of all time, if not THE best.
I won’t get into the differences between the book and the movie – this is after all a review of the movie. I know there are purests out there who get upset at even minor differences, but hey – sometimes things don’t work the same on film as they do in print. Regardless, this is still very faithful to the book. I read the book not long ago, and frankly I’m not sure what did and didn’t vary. I thought that Gandalf and Co. visited Orthanc by the end of the book, and I don’t remember the arrival of the Elves at Helm’s Deep, but hey, I still enjoyed the movie. I got more of a sense of excitement in this one than the first, especially about the battle of Helm’s Deep and the constant sense of futility even though I knew the conclusion. On to the points.
Plot/Story: 5. Any surprise here? Fact is the story is one of the most complex and thought out in history, all with an amazing backstory of mythology of which you only get a glimmer of. Words like “Morgoth”, Vanyar”, and “Valar” are not throwaway terms but have meaning in the backstory – but you need to read the Silmarillion to figure that out – and it is NOT an easy read…
Character: 4. The ring weighs more heavily on Frodo as time passes. The relationship between he and Sam gets strained. Gollum/Smeagol was excellent. Merry and Pippin become more serious. However, I would like to see Gimli better developed as a character and not a humor device.
Visuals: 5. Simply amazing and breathtaking. There were a few areas where I could easily see that it was blue-screened with the foreground character seeming separated from the background, but not badly enough to drop the score.
Nitpicks: 4. This one depends on how much of a purist you are. I already mentioned the bluescreen issues.
Overall: 5. Need I say more?
Total: 23 of 25, or 5 stars.
Final word: If you haven’t seen it, go. If you haven’t seen the first one yet, WATCH THAT FIRST. There is no real recap to place you. I’m actually glad I rewatched the first a couple of days before (as is my wife, who hasn’t actually seen it yet).