Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Welcome once again my readers. Today I will be reviewing this excellent movie, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. As I have missed almost two weeks due to finals and other things, I have tried to write a much more developed review, and I hope you will enjoy.

The opening scene of The Two Towers is an amazing, but brief action scene, only surpassed by the grandiosity of the final scene. The events of the third hour of The Two Towers are undoubtedly the centerpiece of the film. Though the first few hours serve as story development, they primarily build anticipation for the final hour, which mostly depicts the battle of Helm's Deep. 

The road to the battle of Helm's Deep can be gruelingly long and painful for any viewer aware of the breathtaking scenes that await towards the end of the film. The Two Towers' biggest mistake is in its own accomplishments; the first two thirds of the film are spectacularly shot, well paced, and they necessarily and adequately progress the storyline. But when compared to the marvelous final hour, the first two hours seem uneventful and insignificant. 

The Two Towers obviously begin where The Fellowship of the Ring left off. The majority of the film follows four groups and their story lines. Frodo and Sam, who are later accompanied by Gollum, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, Merry and Pippin, and Saruman and his army, all go through important journeys. The performances live well up to the first film, with a particularly notable performance from Mortensen as Aragorn, whose role is significantly larger in The Two Towers. Gollum also shines in a large role, due to extremely realistic computer animation, and a great performance from Andy Serkis, upon which the animation was modeled. In Fellowship, it was appropriate to consider Gollum one of the many great special features of the film. However, he is more of a main character and his convincing dual-personality, harsh voice, and well-developed body movements make him consistently 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 phenomenon. Those who have seen the first movie are no doubt familiar with the beauty of the landscapes of New Zealand. The cinematography is one of the best aspects of the film. The camera movements that follow the armies and horsemen throughout the fields are extremely satisfying. The shots of the walls being attacked in the battle of Helm's Deep are terrifying and chillingly gorgeous all at once. While the visual effects in the previous movie were outstanding, the battle of Helm's Deep provides for the best application of CGI from the beginning of the series. The battle of Helm's Deep features absolutely awesome and flawless integration of acting, stunts, and computer animation. Each orc appears to have its own personality, demonstrated in its movements and visual features. The multitudes of armies fight with strategy and true character.

In the Fellowship of the Ring, I was slightly disappointed with the soundtrack. Don't get me wrong, it was absolutely amazing, but I felt it lacked the ability to capture all of the emotions conveyed throughout the movie. However, Howard Shore steps it up in The Two Towers, with a riveting score, making up for the previous faults of Fellowship.

If not the picture itself, there should be a way to recognize and award the battle of Helm's Deep. Alone, the battle sequence represents successful filmmaking in its highest form. The visual effects, the pacing, acting, cinematography, 
 the choreography of the battle, and the music, all work together in perfection to achieve incredible filmmaking which is as entertaining and enjoyable as film can be. For this very reason, I give this movie a 9.5/10. This series has so far proved to be one of the best, both in story and the quality of the movie.


  1. It seems like a lot of times, the middle part of a trilogy is the weakest part of the trilogy, but I think that The Two Towers manages to avoid this pretty effectively; for starters, like you said, it's just filled with beautiful imagery, just like all of the rest of the films, and it paces itself like a roller coaster, ushering us towards Helm's Deep the whole time. That was a truly epic scene. But I think there's a lot of emotional strength in this movie; my personal favorite part was Sam's monologue at the end of the film to Frodo as they're getting ready to depart from Osgiliath; the last time I saw the movie, it actually got me just about to tears and I think it's up there as one of my favorite scenes in the series.
    Also, great review, I thoroughly enjoyed it!