There are few movies that are of such astronomical beauty, integrity, originality and grandeur that people dare to name them “The best movie of all time.” But that was the way of it one year ago, a time when the visual feast of The Fellowship of the Ring crashed into cinemas and dazzled filmgoers everywhere. People had named LOTR as the best book of the twentieth century, and with its epic brilliance that has captivated readers for decades, it wasn’t surprising that the $512,000,000 movie series would kick off by setting the highest box-office ratings ever and pick up buckets of awards.
Well, let me say now, that the second matches up to, if not exceeds the first.
The Two Towers is spectacular on every level. From when the movie starts with, in my opinion, the perfect representation of Gandalf fighting the Balrog, to the build up and climax of the battle-scenes, to the much-anticipated march of the Ents (and man do they kick some booty!), the scenes of TTT are beyond entertainment.
But the movie isn’t all on the edge of your seat madness, blowing you away with visual dynamo, you see the real craftsmanship that sews it all together comes from the many inclusions of human emotion, comic relief – where there are some hilarious scenes featuring Gimli (John Ryes-Davies), not to mention Gollum – and the poignant love theme between Arwen (Liv Tyler) and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen). And of course the continued motif of friendship between Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin).
The acting is top notch. We see less of Gandalf (Ian McKellan) here, but once again Viggo and Elijah deliver their roles with much realism and life. It was very pleasing to see the full inclusion of Arwen’s love struggle with the relationship between Aragorn, and we see Elrond [Hugo / agent smith] returning to persuade his daughter to take the path with her people rather than with Aragorn. They changed the story by tweaking this a little bit, but it is told very well, and Elrond’s tale of what will happen to Arwen if she forsake’s her immortality for a mortal life is just.. so sad!
Gollum is absolutley mind blowing. The animation is unsurpassed by any computer animated character ever created. And of course, he is extremely convincing and also entertaining (his dichotomy/dual personality scene was authentic and well done).
Legolas, and its pronounced Leg-O-laas, not “lass”, shows of his mad skilz, sliding down some stairs on a wooden shield resembling a snowboard, while shooting arrows at the speed of light into many enemies. The snowboarding Orlando Bloom did while he was in NZ probably meant he could do it himself, just as Viggo did all his own riding and stunts himself.
The appearance of Miranda Otto adds another subplot to the series – Eowyn’s icy isolation and desire to be among the riders of the mark, and her fondness of Aragorn. They twisted Faramir however, Boromir’s brother, making him rather.. Boromirish. He’s sposed to be much wiser and quicker to be of assistance. There were also a number of things Peter Jackson changed in the film, including a random “Aragorn falls off a cliff” inclusion, but mostly minor, and the film works as is.
Some of the scenes are so unique you will have never seen anything like it before, due of course, to Tolkien’s incredible imagination. The ents attack and flooding of Isengard is just amazing to see, and Frodo falling into the water of the Dead Marshes is bloody freaky. And how can you love the opportunity to see Gimli falling of his horse, competing with Legolas in a kill count, and being tossed onto an army of orcs – just don’t tell the elf.
All in all this is the most astoundingly brilliant film you’ll see this year. We await the next installment next x-mas!
Definatley 10/10. Viggo roxors!