Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Movie Name: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Year of Release: 2002
Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Dominic Monaghan, Billy Boyd, Liv Tyler, Orlando Bloom, John Rhys-Davies, Hugo Weaving, Sean Bean, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Andy Serkis, Miranda Otto, Karl Urban, Brad Dourif, Bruce Hopkins, Craig Parker, David Wenham
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8
Watch it on Amazon

Following the astounding commercial and critical success of "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring", director Peter Jackson continued the adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's books, with the following tome, "The Two Towers". This time around, the story finds all of the group scattered in different directions. Frodo and Sam continue their path to destroy the ring, but find the creature Gollum following them. Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas, find themselves in the kingdom of Rohan, where they discover the king has been under the nefarious influence of Saruman. It's up to them, with the help of recovered and more powerful Gandalf, to change the tides, and battle the biggest army assembled by Saruman, to completely vanquish what is left of Rohan and the kingdom of men.
If "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" opened the doors to this magical universe, the adaptation of the second tome by Peter Jackson, continued to expand the scope and dynamics of these characters, while also introducing new supporting key roles to the ever expanding saga. The film does have an interesting construct and mechanism, where sections of exposition are broken with sections of action, which can become a bit tedious after a while, but Peter Jackson has a way to embrace the viewers in this richly layered universe, and never making the films falter into predictability. The director smartly allows for new characters to emerge, all the while allowing them to perfectly adhere to the dynamics of the story and the focus of the lead narrative (and characters). It's a film that marries impeccable storytelling techniques, with stunning production values, including the beautiful cinematography of the late Andrew Lesnie and the score of the great Howard Shore. Another great example of an impeccably executed piece of entertainment.