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

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The (2002, USA/NZL) C-179m. SCOPE *** D: Peter Jackson. Starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Billy Boyd, Liv Tyler, John Rhys-Davies, Dominic Monaghan, Christopher Lee, Miranda Otto, Brad Dourif, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, Karl Urban, Bernard Hill, David Wenham, Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving, Peter Jackson. Spectacular continuation of the saga follows three major plot strands. While Frodo and Sam are trying to reach the gates of Mordor and make the acquaintance of a most hideous creature, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli follow the Orcs, who have abducted the hobbits Merry and Pippin. Will the men's kingdom of Rohan withstand the evil Saruman's army of Orcs and Uruk-hai? It all comes down to a battle that will decide the fate of Middle-Earth. An improvement over the first part in terms of excitement and entertainment, film is not without dramatic flaws, however, and sometimes takes too long to make its point. Movie peters out at the end, without satisfactory set-up for the final part. Eye-popping special effects, especially at that climactic Battle of Helm's Deep, create an awesome razzle-dazzle. The CGI creature Gollum (modeled after actor Serkis) is an equally impressive creation. Production design, cinematography are again first-rate. Filmed back-to-back with parts one and three, with the same crew.


© Ron Altman