A year has passed ever since the fucking awesome experience of the first installment of The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring. No everyone’s attention was on the sequel, The Two Towers, with the main question being: will it be as good as the first one? I went to the theater seeking for that answer apart from being full of expectations. I was not let down. Peter Jackson has done it again, and although it drags during the first part and is quite overwhelming at the end of the movie, I have to go with what fellow critic John Lyrik said: Fellowship of the Ring, move the hell over!!!The film picks up where FOTR left off, just after The Fellowship has been broken. Boromir (Sean Bean) is dead, Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) and Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin) have gone to Mordor alone to destroy the Ring, Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd) have been captured by the Uruk-hai, and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) have made friends of the Rohan, a race of humans that are in the path of the upcoming war, led by King Théoden (Bernard Hill). The two towers between Mordor and Isengard, Barad-dúr and Orthanc, have united to destroy mankind. The corrupt wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee) –who is under the power of the Dark Lord Sauron- and his mysterious assistant, Gríma Wormtongue (Brad Dourif), have created a grand Uruk-hai army with the intention of wiping out Man and Middle-earth. The rebellion against Sauron is building up and will be led by Aragon, Legolas, Gimly, and Theoden, as well as with Gandalf the White (Sir Ian McKellen), whom has thought dead. One of the Ring's original bearers, the creature Gollum (Andy Serkis), has tracked Frodo and Sam down in search of his 'precious', but is captured by the Hobbits and used as a way to lead them to Mt. Doom, but first they must face the rage of Boromir’s brother Faramir (David Wenham) whom is looking to avenge his brother’s death, and also appears tempted, like his brother by the evil power of the Ring. The War of the Ring has begun
"Overwhelming but Still Rewarding"
First of all, this film is impressive. It’s quite the film you would expect after the awesome Fellowship Of The Ring, and of course, if you haven’t seen FOTR, well then GO SEE IT! Seriously, see FOTR, because if you don’t see it and walk in to this movie, you won’t get it. I must say though, it also has its share of difficulties. The screenplay must have been tough to write, because at the beginning of the film, it’s somewhat un-involving and takes quite some time to make it’s point and to bring you up to date where FOTR left off. After those problems, once the new characters are presented and begin to be developed, the film starts to take off, at first slowly but as the film progresses it picks up the pace. The character of Gollum, while actually stunning as a whole in the movie, also somewhat suffers a certain backlash, now we know that if you read a novel, what you get from it, and don’t always get from a movie is their thoughts and inner feelings of a certain character. Of course when we read these makes the character more interesting, and even more so when two-sides of a character’s oneself are fighting for the possession of the characters soul. While this looks awesome in print, it doesn’t necessarily translate well into film, and that’s the problem that Gollum’s character has. Every time the good Gollum and the bad Gollum fought, it wasn’t really believable; in fact, it got to the point that certain parts of the audience would burst in giggles whenever this happened. I don’t think this was Jackson’s intention, since the dialogue incites a struggle which is thrilling and fearing, and what we got on the screen didn’t exactly have those ingredients, so a few people may be put off with those particular scenes. On a further thought, part of the reason the Gollum scenes didn’t actually work right was because at first only one camera was used to portray both feelings. I say this because after that another camera was added to portray the good Gollum and the evil Gollum separately, and I must say, that adding the second camera actually made the scenes a lot better and a lot more believable. The last thing that I should add is that the newly found relationship with Aragorn and King Theoden’s daughter Eowyn (Miranda Otto) seems somewhat underdeveloped, but enough of that, there is so much goodies here that are enough to overweight the bads.
The rest is almost faultless. Peter Jackson pulls out what it’s almost, a masterwork, and instead of playing it safe and making a pure clone of FOTR, he goes and raises the bar a few inches more and if it doesn’t, it’s right on par with FOTR. Sure it has it’s its share of flaws, but as a sequel it’s far more superior to the bag of tripe and formula that most sequels bring out. Once the pace picked up, you wouldn’t believe how tense I was, I was chewing my nails off and at the same time having a blast watching this film. Tension is the key to this film, and its perfectly executed. Frodo’s weakening state is captured vividly and you can even feel his pain. The hour-long battle between the Humans and Elves versus the Uruk-hais is one of the reasons why to watch this film. It also introduces us to a new breed of species only J.R.R. Tolkien would think of: The Ents, which are “living trees” and guardians of the forest, I must say that this concept was really impressive since it kind of reflects into humanity itself and how our “relationship” is with mother nature, and it’s trees, which are the ones that give us our oxygen so we can breathe.
Once again, Jackson uses FX the way it should be, they’re dazzling to watch, especially in the final battle scene, though I must say that at times they were a bit overwhelming. The cinematography once again is excellent despite the Gollum hiccups. The editing is a little bit choppy, but like most other critics, it’s just a sign that there is bound to be a 4 hour director’s cut in the works right now, which I can bet my life, that it will be even better than the theatrical version and fill in all if not, most of the holes that it has. Jackson’s direction is awesome and scores it spot on. The cast is excellent, the FOTR originals (Wood, Astin, Mortensen, Monaghan, Boyd, Bloom, Rhys-Davies, McKellen, Lee and the rest) as always on top of their form, though I must say that Wood actually gets the better of them all. The newcomers: Bernard Hill, David Wenham, Brad Dourif, and of course, Andy Serkis, or at least his voice and impersonation, are also impressive. Miranda Motto was all right, but she still needs a lot of development.In the end, I must say that I just wish this film didn’t end, I wish that it just kept going, just like with FOTR. 3 hours have never passed by so fast. I can’t wait for The Return Of The King, and by the way things are going so far, it may just be best of the three. Hopefully it will be. Thank God for Peter Jackson, for using a big budget to make a “movie” not a “show of hands.” SEE IT! (4.5-5)
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=6450&reviewer=235
originally posted: 02/19/03 14:56:20