The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Miranda Otto, Christopher Lee, Brad Dourif, Bernard Hill, Andy Serkis directed by Peter Jackson Movie Review

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)   4/54/54/54/54/5

Andy Serkis as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

Tale of Two Towers

Everyone who loves movies has them, movies which do little for you but the masses absolutely love them making you feel the odd one out. For me there are three movies where I am in the minority because "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy just doesn't do it for me like it does for others. My problem comes from the fact that the fantasy story of Frodo, Gandalf, Aragon and so on really isn't my thing and I don't think anyone could turn this popular story into a movie which would keep me interested. So whilst director Peter Jackson has done a technically brilliant job of creating a modern epic trilogy of movies the fact the storyline bores me makes it hard to be enthusiastic about any of them.

That struggle to be enthusiastic really is a problem when it comes to "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" because it is the middle movie of a trilogy and middle movies have no start or end just there to build on the ground prepared in the first movie and paving the way for the big final movie. As such we get what shall we say are the further adventures of Frodo and Samwise Gamgee along with Gollum as they head to Mordor, there are the further adventures of Merry and Perry as they escape from Orcs and of course we have Aragon, Legolas, Gimli and Gandalf. I have no doubt that for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien's stories will love what Peter Jackson has done, bringing everything to life with detail and energy but for me it was a slog which never went anywhere.

Viggo Mortensen as Aragon in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

It means whilst I can appreciate that Tolkien's stories are elaborate fantasy adventures my real appreciation comes from Peter Jackson's skill and vision as a director to make it come to life. "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" is exactly what it should be, not only epic but a celebration of the use of CGI to make a movie which is about the story rather than "look what I can do with computers" which seems to be the case with some directors. The prime example is when we come to Gollum, wonderfully embodied by Andy Serkis because rather than being all about the CGI detail the whole thing comes together to be all about the character and his split personality. It is the same when it comes to the epic battles with Orcs because whilst there is more CGI trickery used than I care to imagine it is never about look what we can do but how dominating the legions of Orcs look bringing a sense of foreboding as they mass at the base of a tower.

It is why that whilst "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" at 3 hours was a slog I still was able to admire the skill of the director and his team of people behind the scenes. I also admired pretty much all of the performances with everyone delivering great character which when you consider there must have plenty of times when actors would be talking to an imaginary person is impressive.

What this all boils down to is that whilst I can appreciate that "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" is a stunning feat of movie making and as part of the trilogy deserves the accolade of being epic it didn't light my fire. I have and never will be a fan of this sort of adventure movie and so for those who love this type of thing I can appreciate why you would be blown away by it but it's not for me.