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Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Overview
Second part of the classic novel by JRR Tolkein. Other reviews: Fellowship of the Rings, Return of the King.
Short plot summary

Frodo and Sam are at the mercy of plot points pinging at them from all directions, mainly in the form of a skinny whiny creature who likes to comb his hair over his bald spot, Gollum. By the start of this movie, the Fellowship have been split into three groups and we follow each of their trials.

Gollum (Smeagol) initially attacks Sam and Frodo for the ring. They overpower him and get him to show them a route to Mordor, where the ring must be destroyed in the fires. However, is Gollum to be trusted? Sam doesn't think so but Frodo needs to trust him as he doesn't know the best route to Mordor.

Saruman is rallying his troops against Rohan and the violent skirmishes are getting worse. Our hero's fight for Rohan and Lord Aragon is initially thought to have fallen in battle; but he is not dead and returns to the fortification...

What our panel of critics thought

"A rousing triumph of succeeding against all the odds that Tolkein's mind could muster."

"Have I seen Gollum advertising on SkinnyBaldandBony.com? I am sure I have. I do hope he gets lucky, he is such a charming gentleman."

"I initially thought I would be annoyed by Sam as he looks like one of those short, fat, opinionated types. In the end I was quite taken with the fatty, especially during that speech in which he manages to put the world to rights."

"Our heroes surely aren't carrying enough toilet paper for this trip! It's details like this, when not acknowledged, that can ruin a movie for me."

"That opening sequence, when the camera glides over the mountains? Gadzooks! I thought Paramount had made a hostile takeover."

Please tell me the ending

Gollum tells us right at the very end of the movie that he intends to kill Frodo and Sam when he gets the chance...

In Rohan the ultimate battle is beginning. Pippin and Merry have befriended Treebeard who has agreed to get his fellow walking-talking-giant-tree buddies to fight for Rohan against Saruman. Lord Aragorn and his team are safe inside Rohan's fortresses.

Dr Bravisimo-Encore II Movie Review

A truly tremendous movie which showcases courage on a quest, and how heroes are really normal, flawed, people doing extraordinary things. Gollum is one of the most believable computer animated creatures I have ever seen... not counting Scooby Doo, of course, of whom I remain a devoted fan.

The end of the world is a'coming and this movie drips with apprehension. It positively ekes foreboding in places. It is, at least to this reviewer, never more apparent that what we are watching here is the approach of World War Two (Tolkein wrote these books during this period in history, and Saruman must surely be Hitler.)

Treebeard is the most unlikely of hero's. Lord Aragorn on the other hand is everyman's hero, stunningly virile; it is quite a shock that, for a little while at least, it looked like the old boy had cashed in his chips and gone to meet his hairdresser in the sky - the bit where the horse lifts him up onto its back is quite impressive, I had an ambitious cat like that once.

After my embarrassment of falling to sleep repeatedly in the Fellowship, I can report that, whilst I did fall to sleep once during this movie, I quickly rewound the DVD and picked up the thread. I have since seen this movie three or four times without slumber and it grows and grows on you like a classic movie should.

This is truly a wonderful movie. There is a nice pick me up in Sams speech about not giving up (turning back) which is quite inspirational.

Quotable quotes (real)

The stunningly superb speech Sam gives to Frodo about not turning back (almost at the end of the movie):

Sam: "It's in the great stories, Frodo. The one's that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were and sometimes you didn't want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? "
"But in the end it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. These were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn't. They kept going because they were holding on to something."
Frodo: "What are we holding on to Sam?"
Sam: "There's some good in this world. And it's worth fighting for."
Other comments

Can it be that this movie is the best of the three? It has our vote.

Date of review

January 12, 2005

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