Friday, December 20, 2002

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers: Review: Below

That's right, I saw the new Lord of the Rings movie. Who wants to touch me?

(mild spoilers ahead)

I enjoyed it. There are very high expectations when you begin with something as good as The Fellowship of the Ring to follow it up with something of the same high quality. The Empire Strikes back was pretty good, while Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was fairly awful. The Two Towers is different from its predecessor. In the first installment, there was a lot of introduction. Meet Frodo. Meet Frodo's lovable friend, Sam. Meet Gandalf the Grey, Aragorn the Secret True King of Gondor, Legolas the Uber-Archer, Gimli the Dwarven Comic Relief, Merry the Somewhat-Sensible Comic Relief, Pippen the Hapless Comic Relief, Boromir the Foreshadowed, Saruman the Mean, and all that. We learned that the Ring is too powerful to safely exist, and must be destroyed by taking it to the enemy's lair. There's a lot of soul-searching. In this episode, however, what we get is a lot of fighting. I'm not kidding. We see men vs. orcs/uruk-hai, men vs. wolf-riding orcs, men vs. men, men and elves vs. more uruk-hai than you can shake a pointed stick at, trees vs. orcs, and probably some other permutations I've forgotten.
There are also new introductions. We meet Theoden, king of Rohan, and his nephew Eomer and his niece Eowyn. We see his evil advisor Grima Wormtongue. Gollum, quite simply, is awesome. I honestly think that he, or at least the actor who voiced him, should get an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
The Two Towers wasn't quite as faithful to the book as The Fellowship of the Ring, however. Some of the changes were pretty minor, such as not visiting Treebeard's house, while others were somewhat odd. It's been a few years since I last read LOTR, so it's possible that I may simply have forgotten these things, but I don't remember Aragorn falling off the cliff or Elrond leaving so soon. I won't say that they took away from the experience, but I was a little baffled.
The trouble with writing a review such as this, especially when you've read all the books, is that it's very easy to give away a lot of important things, so I'm going to err on the side of caution and stop. Once The Return of the King is released next year, I may be able to start spilling my guts.

Go see this movie.

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