The Two Towers

by Alan Rapp on December 12, 2012

in Home Video

  • Title: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • IMDB: link

“There’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.”

lotr-two-towers-posterThe second film from director Peter Jackson‘s Lord of the Rings trilogy is, in my opinion, the best and most under appreciated film of the series.

Although Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam‘s (Sean Astin) slow journey to nowhere with Gollum (Andy Serkis) grows a bit tedious at times (as it does in the beginning of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King as well), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers provides many of the trilogy’s best sequences including the battle at Helms Deep and introduces several new characters in Gollum and the warriors of Rohan who will play important roles not only in this film but in the upcoming final battle with Sauron and the armies of Mordor.

The film begins with Frodo and Sam striking out on their own for Mordor and Mount Doom. Meanwhile Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Gimli (John Rhys-Davies), and Legolas (Orlando Bloom) hunt down Peregrin Took (Billy Boyd) and Merry Brandybuck (Dominic Monaghan) who were taken by Saruman‘s orcs, who mistakenly believe one of the two Hobbits to be carrying the One Ring.

Merry and Pippin eventually escape on their own, making their way through Fangorn Forest and prove instrumental in the battle against Saruman by raising the Ents, the ancient tree creatures, to wage war on Isengard. Although they don’t find their Hobbit friends, the three warriors’ journey reunites them with Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and delivers them to the troubled kingdom of Rohan where the wizard is able to free King Théoden (Bernard Hill) from the influence of Saruman’s servant (Brad Dourif) and begin to make a stand against the marching armies of Saruman and Sauron.

The film is strongest throughout Aragon’s story as he struggles with the possible loss of Arwen (Liv Tyler), deflecting the advances of the shieldmaiden of Éowyn (Miranda Otto) whose role in the trilogy will only continue to increase in The Return of the King, and surviving near death to help lead the fight in the trilogy’s best action sequence – The Battle of Helm’s Deep.

The Two Towers

Frodo, Sam, and Gollum’s journey takes an unfortunate turn as the group is picked up and roughed up by a group of Gondor soldiers including Boromir‘s (Sean Bean) brother Faramir (David Wenham) who nearly delivers the One Ring into the hand of the enemy while trying to live up to his fallen brother’s legacy.

Despite introducing several new characters, including the marvelously delivered sociopathic CGI rendering of Gollum, the warriors of Rohan, and the Ents, the second film, not burdened with the heavy task of setting up the world of Middle Earth, flows better than The Fellowship of the Ring. In Gollum and Éowyn The Two Towers delivers two the series’ most important, and most memorable, characters. And, given the enhanced stakes, the film feels larger and more epic as our characters are continually put in situations where (even if we know the story) we don’t expect them all to survive.

Of all three films the action-packed middle chapter is helped the most by the added footage of the extended cut available both on Blu-ray and DVD. The footage helps further flesh out the characters of Rohan and the story behind Aragon’s trusted stead, who returns him to the battle after his fall. The special editions also include documentaries and behind the scenes-featurettes, four separate commentary tracks from the filmmakers, design and photo galleries, storyboards, and an atlas of Middle Earth.

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