The fellowship has been broken as Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) helps prepare Rohan to go to war with Sauruman’s (Christopher Lee) forces. Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) continue their quest to destroy the ring with the aid of the Creature Gollum (Andy Serkis).
Director: Peter Jackson
Cast: Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Andy Serkis, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Miranda Otto
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for epic battle sequences and scary images
Fun Fact: Viggo Mortensen broke two toes while kicking the Orc helmet into the Orc pyre. The reaction and scream he gives is genuine from the pain.
The Fellowship of the Ring was a tremendous success as it showed that The Lord of the Rings was possible to make, and it brought back relevance to the epic genre that was sorely missing in the theaters at the time. I remember at the time my cousin and I were big on the film and couldn’t wait for The Two Towers to be released and we were bummed that we had to wait a year to see. It. Once it was released I went and saw it with my family hoping that we would get something on the lines of the previous installment.
While The Two Towers is a great film, I still think that The Fellowship of the Ring is a stronger film in more aspects. The Fellowship of the Ring had more sense of adventure to it, The Two Towers has the slow build to the film’s climax, the battle at Helms Deep. This build is so effective that it keeps you interested. There’s a lot going on in this instalment and they keep talking about an impending war coming up that is unavoidable. You want to see the heroes succeed and that’s what a true epic needs to show us. The heroes are down and there doesn’t really seem to be much hope for them. That’s where we get effective writing from the script and the source material. Once the battle at Helms Deep begins, we are in for a ride of clean shots of action and tension. It took months to film this scene and it paid off with all the build towards it. When I watched this the other night I kept telling myself I wanted to see Helms Deep and that’s how I felt when I first saw it in theaters.
Once again, the performances really shine in The Two Towers. Viggo Mortensen really steps up his game as Aragorn is more expanded and we get to know him more and his quest. Elijah Wood and Sean Astin’s chemistry is stronger after spending so much time together. The real show stealer is Andy Serkis as Gollum. His movements and how he speaks is legendary. Serkis brought the character to life in everything he did and in fact I had a friend who was so obsessed with this film series that he spent hours practicing and perfecting the voice of Gollum.
Technically wise this film is strong as it’s predecessor. The sweeping shots of the valleys to the set building is fantastic. Middle Earth is alive and well once again and it shows on screen. Throw in the wonderfully written score by Howard Shore, you get a film that is epic in every way.
Overall, The Two Towers is a great film, but I consider The Fellowship of the Ring is still stronger. While this film is more about the tension of the impending war, we get a nice build to a great climax that you expect to see in an epic. We also get great performances and Andy Serkis steals the show as Gollum. I feel like this kind of lacked the adventure aspect of the previous film, but I always enjoy the slow tension and build to an awesome climax.