The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

lord of the rings the two towers poster 2002 movie
9.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 10/10

Great cast, Gollum

May still be too much fantasy for some

Movie Info

Movie Name: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Studio: WingNut Films

Genre(s): Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s): December 5, 2002

MPAA Rating: PG-13

lord of the rings the two towers gandalf returns ian mckellan

I’m back…just don’t ask to me explain how. Falling through earth etc…just trust me

Frodo (Elijah Wood) continues to move the Ring toward Mordor with the help of Sam (Sean Astin), and they both find a new unlikely ally in Gollum (Andy Serkis).  Legolas (Orlando Bloom), Gimli (John Rhys-Davis), and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) seek out Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd) and end up having to lead the people of Edoras to the safety of Helm’s Deep as an army of orcs threaten to destroy them.  Merry and Pippin escape the horrors of the orcs and where they are discovered by the Ent known as Treebeard (voiced by John Rhys-Davis) and find themselves locked in a deadly battle against Saruman (Christopher Lee).

lord of the rings the two towers ent treebeard billy boyd dominic monaghan

You sound like a friend of ours…

Directed by Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings:  The Two Towers is the second film in Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy and adapts the J.R.R. Tolkien 1954 novel (published the same year as the first part).  Following The Lord of the Rings:  The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001, the film received critical acclaim and won Academy Awards for Best Sound Editing and Best Visual Effects with nominations for Best Picture, Best Film Editing, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, and Best Sound.

The Lord of the Rings:  The Two Towers is often looked upon as the weakest of the three movies, but it might be the favorite of mine.  Part of the reason that I think I might like it more is that it fixes weaknesses in the novels, it doesn’t have to set anything up like the first film, and it doesn’t drag-out the ending like the third film…it is sheer action and adventure.

lord of the rings the two towers sam frodo gollum sean astin elijah wood

I’d don’t know Sam…he seems pretty trustworthy

The book really suffered from the fact that I didn’t care too much about the humans in this section of the story.  Every time they broke for the Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas parts in which they helped the people of Edoras, I found my eyes glazing over.  Here, this is developed into a compelling story and the action switches back and forth enough to feel like it mixes better that in the novel.  All three storylines reach a satisfying point in the story to make you want to see the third film.

The cast remains strong and you can tell how they have grown together at this point.  Unlike the previous entry where Ian McKellen stood out, the story and characters feel a bit more evenly balanced.  The movie does introduce one of my favorite characters in Treebeard the Ent (with John Rhys-Davies playing double duty as his voice.  Bernard Hill, Miranda Otto, David Wenham, Karl Urban, and Brad Dourif are added to the cast in the film, but the scene stealer here is Andy Serkis as Gollum/Sméagol who really brought life to the creature through his motion capture.

lord of the rings the two towers gollum andy serkis

Nope…not plotting anything whatsoever

It is Gollum which helps me also put this movie above the first film.  The film still contains the greatness of New Zealand (though some of the great pans of the vastness of the land already start to feel repetitive), but Gollum steals the show.  It is easy to forget he’s computer generated and the movie gives his character real depth and texture by having a solid computer generated character (just compare him to Jar-Jar Binks)…something that can make or break a movie (plus, you got to like the Oliphaunts).

I realize that The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is the filler movie/book and as the filler movie/book, it isn’t meant to be a standout.  I feel that Jackson hits his stride in this film and it still has the wonder that The Lord of the Rings:  The Return of the King loses a bit of through the need to tell the story faithfully.  The Lord of the Rings:  The Two Towers was followed by The Lord of the Rings:  The Return of the King in 2003.

Related Links:

The Hobbit:  An Unexpected Journey (2012)

The Hobbit:  The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

The Hobbit:  The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

The Lord of the Rings:  The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

The Lord of the Rings:  The Return of the King (2003)

The Hobbit (1977)

The Return of the King (1978)

The Lord of the Rings (1978)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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