Being an avid Tolkien fan, and huge Peter Jackson follower (I don’t stalk him or anything) I, like many others have been gagging to see this movie for months and months and months and… oh, sorry, where was I? Oh yeah! I walked into the cinema thinking ‘this is going to rock!’ but then to my startling surprise the first five or six rows were empty with only minutes remaining. I began to feel the pain inside for the people who were going to miss even a second. And then it all started to go wrong. Like a swarm of orcs raining on Aragorns parade, a hundred ten year olds charged mercilessly into the cinema, taking up each and every seat that was empty. And yes, they were in the row in front of me! I wasn’t a happy bunny to say the very least. Unsurprisingly there were more than just myself who wanted to watch without interuptions, so a few unsubtle comments along the lines of ‘be quiet or the balrog will pop out the screen and eat you’ were duely welcome.
The Two Towers’ opening scene was possibly the best opening scene any film I’ve seen in years, possibly ever! And those who doubt my opinion, I stress that it is MY opinion and those who don’t agree can go and watch Harry Potter. So anyway, after Gandalf’s staggering battle with the Balrog, I was in the right mood for the rest of the movie. Although unlike Fellowship this isn’t a nice, then grim, then nice, then grim again movie. This is a dark and sinister film. The fact that it got away with 12A is beyond me, but I’m certainly not complaining. If you want creepy you have the twin personalities of Gollum/Smeagol, if you want creepier, you have Grima Wormtongue and his cringe-worthy ugliness, but if you want down right scary, wait until the scene in the dead marshes. It scared the bejesus out of me, and I’m 19! I could hear a wave of shrieks coming from the kids in front (at which point I gave a swift yet useful kick, into back of the chair in front of me. It seems I got placed near the troublemaker!). The Nazgul look menacing enough on their not so noble steeds, which are equally as sinister as I’d imagined. Sean Astin shines as Samwise Gamgee and Elijah (Frodo) Wood had also improved since the fellowship.
Now the bad stuff… and don’t be alarmed, it’s mostly little nigly bits that i’ll get over after a second veiwing (like missing Bombadil in Fotr). Firstly, the scene where Sam’s elven rope unties itself is not there! Why not! its a tense scene that is not necessarily vital, but just as worthy as scenes made up for the movie. Secondly, Eomer is in it for about 10 minutes collectively in the whole film. Although slightly larger than Eomer’s part, Faramir is also a relatively small part, and unlike the books he seems to be Boromir reincarnated. He wants the ring too. However the scene when they capture Gollum by using Frodo to lure him out was so accurate to the vision I had when reading it, I almost wet my pants. It’s all good, I was wearing Pampers!
Treebeard was cool, but although the storming of Isengard was amazing and I do mean AMAZING, I thought the walls on the exterior were bigger. I almost expected them to smash the walls in first, but they seemed to happily walk over them. But that is a really niggly comment. I was also surprised at how much they actually left out. There was no ‘Voice of saruman’ no ‘Palantir’, No Shelob, no ‘choices of Master Samwise’! Practically half the book was cut out so they could use it in Rotk (I assume, and dearly hope). Oh and the Arwen scenes are kind of irrelevant. I have so little interest in whether she wants to stay or go. Well I can dream can’t I!? I was disappointed that Bilbo made no appearance, even a short one.
Ah now here is the test. While watching TTT, I think I spotted two cameo appearances from Peter Jackson. The first was when saruman was talking to the wild men, I think Jackson was one of them(correct me if I’m wrong), the second is at Helm’s Deep, where he takes out an Orc from above, popping out from under a hatch type thing. I am possitive that this was also Peter, but again please correct me if you find out any different.
Overall, The Two Towers is the best film I have seen all year, FACT! (I’d like to point out that I haven’t managed to catch Donny Darko),. Anyone who liked the first installment will worship this one. Peter Jackson is a genius. I laughed I cried, I even almost sang! Honest… So go and see it, and I guarantee you by December 2003, none of us will have any hair left…..
P.s. Anyone who didn’t get that last bit, it meant that you’ll pull your hair out because you want to see ROTK so badly.