The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers
(Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, Sean Astin, et al / PG-13 / 178 mins / New Line)
Overview:Picking up where The Fellowship of the Ring ends, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is the second film in Peter Jackson's epic adaptation of the J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy trilogy. The fellowship has divided, with hobbits Frodo and Sam continuing toward Mount Doom to destroy the one ring of power and the trio of warrior Aragorn, dwarf Gimli, and elf Legolas pursuing of a party of Uruk-hai warriors who have captured the fellowship's two other hobbits, Merry and Pippin. Meanwhile, Lord Sauron, in collaboration with the corrupt Saruman, continues to build his forces in the land of Mordor for the coming war with the free races of Middle-earth. The wizard Gandalf, previously thought dead, has returned, but will he be in time to reunite the fellowship against Sauron?
Verdict: With 'The Two Towers' it seems very clear that we are in the midst of one of the greatest achievements in fantasy filmmaking and in epic filmmaking. 'TTT' is a rare perfect mating of filmmaker and material with everything great about the first film having been dutifully amplified here to umpteenth degrees. No one has ever made better, more seamlessly natural-looking use of computer-generated imagery, not even George Lucas himself, and even the few who found 'Fellowship' a ponderous opening act will be happier with the quickened pace and expanded scope of 'TTT.' And sure, what 'TTT' really comes down to is superbly staged battle scenes and moral alliances forged in earnest yet purged of the wit and dynamic, bristly ego that define true on-screen personality, BUT there is no doubt that this great, fantastic movie leaves you wanting hours more once those end credits begin flashing across the screen !
Reviewed by Russ Trunk