Ok, I’ll start off by saying this: I’m a purist, but not a completely unreasonable one.
That being said, watching Two Towers was watching one of my favourite books be destroyed by a disgusting film that hardly paid lip service to the story as Tolkien wrote it.
First off, we have some good scenes in there. Gandalf vs Balrog was nice (Although I was lead to believe that Gandalf died from exhaustion… that poor Balrog never got a hit in) However, when we get to the Golden Hall, and that /very/ cheesy exorcist/fight scene, I start to get annoyed. From there, it is alright until the Warg attack scene. Whatever that was for, it was a waste of however many good minutes. And then we have… Helm’s Deep. I loved that battle in the books. In the movie, it was a cheesy attempt to show an epic battle. The Elves shouldn’t have been there (And they were way to militaristic… they weren’t real elves). And the much-vaunted armies of Saruman can be severly trounced by a dwarf and ranger. Now, I’m not against Gimli or Aragorn, but their ‘lone stance’ was horrible. It really played down the terror of the Uruk-Hai.
Then, we got to that charge by… what was it… fove guys. Hmmm…. lemme see. five guys on horseback vs at least five thousand Uruk-Hai. And the five guys kick butt. Just when I thought that was bad enough, Gandalf leads a charge of Eomer’s eored (Who should have been in the battle) down an impossibly steep hill. Horses can get down that. Not while galloping flat out. And when these horses are charging into 20 foot pikes, and SURVIVING, I have to wonder about realism. And telling me that Gandalf stunned the Uruk-Hai isn’t gonna cut it.
The next change is probably the one that annoys me the most, and that most people I talk to don’t even notice (they claim to have read the books). Faramir is just evil. He lusts after the Ring, which directly contradicts what he says in the books (“Not if I found it on the highway would I take it… There are some perils from which a man must fly”). Faramir, in his lust for the Ring, forces Frodo and Sam to go with him to Osgiliath. Here, they encouter a Nazgul upon a fell beast. Nazgul dives at Frodo, Sam pulls Frodo back, Faramir shoots fell beast. End result? Fell beast runs away, obviously because getting the Ring is so hard with one arrow sticking in it.
Now, to put this slightly in perspective: I probably expected too much from TTT. In fact, I didn’t expect that much from FotR, I got alot more, and thus raised my expectations. Even with that factored in, TTT really wasn’t that great. As a pure movie, not adapted from anything, it is 9.5/10. As an adaptation of The Two Towers, it is a 3.2/10.