And so begins the saga of Two Towers viewings. Let me begin by saying Peter Jackson is a marvel, for lack of a better word. To take three books and convert them into movies is an epic request. Lets not let ones Purist or Revisionest views get in the way of a true masterpiece of a movie.
The Two Towers opens and we see Gandalf and Balrog. (An all too familiar scene having watched it over and over again with pyromaniac intent.) They fall and yet again the earth shattering NOOOOOOOOOOO from Frodo…. ah how SWEET…. ANYWAY… following them down the passage we see Gandalf beating the living snot out of the Balrog who seems to just be…falling…. not CARING that theres this pesky wizard on his back. I have just one question… was it NOT hot? The towers great but just WHY did Gandalf die? It seemed like he was unscathed by the Balrog at all….. ah well its the thought that counts right?
Gollum is great! He’s a bit odd looking, not quite my vision of him but then again when I first read the books I saw the elves as little short men with pointed ears and curved shoes! His little skitzo scenes were a bit MUCH at times, perhaps if they had kept the camera in one spot and just had his facial expression changed instead of the whole view the overall affect would have been a lot more convincing…. to the “uneducated movie-goer” it would have seemed that it was TWO gollums (heaven forbid). And yes I must admit that the rope deal with him writhing around was a bit too laughable for such a moment. But eh, give or take Gollum was just fine.
The hunters….. their chase was very believeable all in all. The one thing that got me was that Gimli was so far behind the others. Not that this took away from the movie at all for me. I thought it was great to be able to laugh in spite of all the bad that was going on. Gimli provided a lot of the comic relief in this movie and some say this slashed his character. I think NOT! These funny moments really helped me warm up to Gimli. Now the scene at Helms Deep where Aragorn ‘tosses’ him is a bit weird that a dwarf and just hew down an onslaught of Uruk’s but its a good concept none the less.
Legolas and Aragorn have a little tiff…. this is new…. I really can see no purpose for this except to represent either 1. The extreme highs and lows of elves 2. The extreme bond between Aragorn and Legolas in pre-War of the Ring times or 3. The elves doubt in man. Either way it seems to work so I have no ‘buts’ about it.
Treebeard… well I’m speechless. He is just great! It would have been better to have a little more body than just a small ‘trunk’ (tree humor ) that is so small its covered up by its beard! And I would have liked to see more of the “leaning with only the slightest bending at the waist” action. His friends too were pretty cool and we had a little more of that sound from FOTR where the whole army falls. This is great cuz it gives them that ancient feel.
The Uruk Hai are pretty cool. They finally are beginning to show their naturally cannbalistic ways. Man that one orcs pretty weird but I wish they would have specified Grishnakh and Ugluk. Would have given them a little more personality than just foul beasts, although thats what they ARE. The black gate too is just awesome and I really like the use of the trolls there. And the Easterlings are pretty good despite the fact that they are evil men that are wearing EYELINER. This kinda defeats the purpose of being a war-hungry masculine Easterling. So that Frodo’s rock disguise was well done as well! My sister was totally baffled, but then again my sister is ten so that could account for something.
Gandalf was fabulous! Only minutely did he resemble the former Gandalf the Grey and his forgetfulness of his ‘old’ name is truely wonderful. (And true to the book for those purists out there ) His exorcism of Theoden is something interesting, kinda mirrors the Sarumen Gandalf fight in a way…. which is ironic seeing as its Sarumen ‘possessing’ Theoden.
Wow Eowyn is fabulous, I’m not going to say she’s hot because quite frankly I’m a girl and a huge Orlie fan. She seems a bit…. I dunno…. defensive and pert but that is just being true to Tolkien. I guess every working woman has a right amonst men to be defensive.
Wormtongue’s lust is evident in the movie. I’m glad they showed that. Wormtongue himself is a bit more… greasy then I imagined. Reminds me in a way of Gollum. He’s got some great lines, representing him as none other than the slick worded and sly minded Grima. Being my mothers daughter I laughed when he fell down the stairs but thats just me….
Sarumen is great in this movie. So powerful as he ‘peps’ up his army for battle. We see surprisingly little of him in The Two Towers though, which is such a pity that we have to wait to see him smooth talk the riders and have the palantir incident. He seems pretty helpless at the ‘Ent storming’
Theoden is great, quite dilapidated at first. Talk about a mere shadow of ones self! His transformation was great but it came a little quicker than in the book. Perfectly understandable seeing the need to conserve time. Including Theodred is great, give the movie a softer air and really begins to show the frailty of human life. (We’re frail!)
Helms Deep is just great. Once again we get some more ‘Gimli humor’ which I thoroughly enjoyed,being 4′ 11″ and the butt of every ‘short’ joke. At first I was a bit disappointed because the Uruk’s indeed seemed that their bark was worse than their bite, until the lifted those huge ladders… then the stakes rose. Oh my gosh and when the elves showed up, it was magnificent. They were great looking, hoods up and banners flying. When Haldir died I must admit I cried, the music is what gets at you! (Curse the fabulous Howard Shore)
Theoden was a bit cocky and it seemed to bite him in the loss of life. Aragorns encouragement was great, making him appear even more determined than before. Ah and when Gimli blew the great horn it was beautiful! I got goosebumps, it put you right there in the thick of it and one could just FEEL the surge of adrenaline for the final charge. When they burst forth and rode down the narrow path upon their steeds it was such a free feeling to see the Uruks leaping from their path.
And Gandalf and the Riddermark appearing at the top of the chasm. Such a breathtaking scene to see Shadowfax rise proud and tall above the rest and then lead the others down the hill like a last resort effort that leads to victory. Their descent was oddly frightening seeing the horses dive into an endless fathom of spears and growling faces. Remarkable.
Back to Frodo and Sam. They are capture and taken to Ithilien which is not even named I dont believe…. I was a little taken aback by not only Faramir’s ‘new’ approach to Frodo and the ring, suddenly going from ‘I would not take it if it sat by the roadside’ to ‘We will take it to Osgiliath’ what a confusing transition . But Osgiliath was quite a growth period.
Here we see Frodo reaching out to a Winged Nazgul. (Which by the way is the most bone chilling and awesome sight. ) Sam leaps forward and stops him and here it is shown more clearly, the corruption of the ring. Frodo holds Sting to Sam’s throat as he pleads to him. A touching scene indeed as Frodo realises his folly and falls back in awe. This kind of progress I wasn’t expecting until ROTK but its a nice change, as if preparing us for what lies ahead.
As the movie comes to a close we have another Gollum/Smeagol : Stinker/slinker moment. Instantly the beginning of ROTK is set up by him saying ‘ She will do it.’ This reference of the universal and unknown ‘she’ to the ‘uneducated movie-goer’ sets up a beginning to the third film of total abyss. Its great.
All in all I loved the Two Towers. I know some people hated it and others totally supported it. I am in between and have views on both sides of the fence. Just think less than a year until ROTK!