The Two Towers

The second of the Lord of the Rings trilogy is a little different from the first as Frodo & Sam are off having their own adevnture, Merry & Pippin have been taken by the Urak Hai with Legolas, Gimli & Aragorn on their trail. In TTT new characters are introduced as well as the return of an old friend and some new plots are uncovered.

Character Bios

Okay I'll do the same thing that I did for FotR and not tell the story just annotate my favourite bits and the like (more in the character bios).

Prologue: I loved the prologue that was such a brilliant idea - I loved that we could hear Gandalf as we come round the mountain then follow him down as the Balrog falls and then to think that it was Frodo's dream - brilliant! It was good that they didn't do a re-cap - it kinda felt like okay you've had a break and here is the next bit - it seemed like a continuation not an brand new movie.

Frodo and Sam's Ring Quest: Gollum is so perfect - not too evil and not too human enough looking and the "it burns, it burns" was so good. I loved the Gollum/ Sméagol conversations "Leave and never come back ... WHAT?... Leave and NEVER come back." He is sooo cute and the little dance was gorgeous. The Dead Marshes were perfect and the fact you could hear Elrond in the FotR prologue in the background when Gollum says "A great battle was fought here"  was just the right touch. The Elf that comes alive and draws Frodo into the pool - scary Elf - the ghosts in the pool had the eighties horror look about them - though they were really gross. I absolutely LOVE the armour of the Easterlings and I can't wait to see them in action in RotK, the use of the elven cloaks was a nice touch too. The Oliphants were HUGE! 

I must admit I was a bit dubious when I saw that Faramir was to be played by Diver Dan from Sea Change - but I was surprised that David Wenham was so convincing as Faramir - I didn't see even a hint of Diver Dan in him at all (its cause he's an Aussie actor!) He played the downtrodden son perfectly and the look on his face when Gollum is talking to himself is a Classic. Frodo is a bit drippy in the movie - it just seems like he is in a daze and he is so mean to Sam when he comes under the influence of the ring - that is a really good ploy. I love the Ringwraiths on wings - they are just great and I'll take home a Gondorian Ranger anyday J. 

Merry and Pippin's Captive Journey: The way it is split between the three stores was run very well even if it left a little suspense it wasn't long before the suspense was relived. The Orc with "What about their legs, that don't need them" is a crack up they are such kewl Orcs. When they go into Fangorn forest and the look on Pippin's face when he realises that the tree he is hanging to is actually alive is priceless and with his "Don't talk to it Merry, don't encourage it." The Ents are so funny looking - next time you go and see it just check out the faces of the other Ents - especially the one over Treebeard's left shoulder (screen's right) that looks like a Willow tree J. "I am not a tree, I am an ENT!" And then at Entmoot, Treebeard: "We have decided...." Merry: "Yes..." Treebeard: "We have decided that you are not Orcs." Ents nodding behind him Pippin: "Well that's good." Merry: "But what about the war?" And the sound that Treebeard makes as he calls the Ents to war is so blood curdling - also when they attack Isengard check out the Ent that has to put his head out.

I am quite pleased with the way this section of the book was handled - it missed out on some of the really unimportant bits that were in the book (Whitebeam will be annoyed that there is no Quickbeam though) and I really like Merry's passionate speech to Pippin about Saruman's reach: "The fires of Isengard will spread, the woods of Tookbrook and Buckland will burn. And all that was once green and good in this world will be gone."

The Companion's Journey: Gimli is definitely the comic relief in this movie he is just so funny and the banter between the trio is really good such as Legolas to Aragorn: "You're late ... You look terrible." I love it when Gimli claims that he is "wasted over cross country but deadly over short distances" and that dwarves don't spring from the ground and that there are female dwarves "That are so alike in appearance to men that you don't even realise," prompting a "Its the beards" comment from Aragorn. I really like the way that the friendship between the trio is shown in the movie like when Legolas defends Gimli from Éomer and the whole Helm's Deep fight: on the battlement that Gimli comments to Legolas, as you can barely see his helmet over the wall, "You could've picked a better spot." As the battle starts the my favourite quote occurs between Gimli and Legolas: Gimli: "I can't see, what's happening?" 

Legolas: "Shall I describe it to you, or would you like me to find you a box?"

I love the way Gandalf returns in such splendor and that he sounds like Saruman when they can't see his face. I wish I could whistle like Gandalf! The Warg's were the only thing that looked a little fake - but then again they had the fur coat of a wallaby so maybe that's how they were ment to be - and they all kinda looked the same so that's the only thing I was a little disappointed with - though Aragorn falling over the cliff and being rescued by Brego was a nice touch.

Legolas shows a lot more emotion in this movie as he gets angry at the Orc, he relishes in bashing up the Rohan people who try to stop Gandalf in the Golden Hall (nice scene BTW) and even gets frustrated with Aragorn. Only to come back armoured and apologise and then rush out to give Haldir a "one-handed-manly-hug" and beam at the appearance of the other Elves. 

Though Helm's Deep was really really really sad when Haldir died. He looked so good in that armour and he fought so well - stupid Orcs. Helm's Deep was brilliant and I'm sure that was Peter Jackson as the Rohan warrior who through the spear down at the Orcs near the gate (he had a chainmail 'helmet' on). Fans of the book will greatly revere the fact that the "scoring" of Orc kills between Legolas and Gimli was included, as the battle starts Gimli yells to Legolas: "Legolas, Two." In which the Elf replies: "I'm up to seventeen." Shoots two more Orcs "Nineteen." Then we hear Gimli counting the number of Orcs that he has killed as the camera pans around the battlement - a priceless LotR moment. I'll stop talking about the trio now else I'll go on and on for pages J.

Misc. Scenes: More I hear you say- what more can she say about this movie? Well there are a couple of scenes that don't really have a place in any of the above categories but I wanted to mention them anyway. The first is Éomer and Théodred's return to Edoras - this was so sad and such a lovely touch as the stricken looks on the faces of the siblings as their cousin slowly dies whilst their uncle remains in a stupor and the country is run by the slimy Wormtounge. Then not only does it not stop here but we get to see Éomer being banished and later on Wormtounge trying (unsuccessfully mind you) to seduce Éowyn.

The next is Théoden's grief as he visits the grave of his only son, he has lost so much and can barely stand to lose anymore (hence the reluctance to make an offensive), "No parent should ever have to bury their child." And finally - the music when we see Saruman's forces - the shear magnitude of all of those Orcs.

Okay if you can't tell by now I adore the movie and will watch it as many times as I can (I'm glad there is the $2 off ticket prices promotion going on in Australia :)). And now All we have to do is wait a year for the next one.

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