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The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers

Starring: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen
Director: Peter Jackson
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 179 Minutes
Release Date: December 2002
Genres: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action, Drama

*Also starring: Miranda Otto, Marton Csokas, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Christopher Lee, Dominic Monaghan, Viggo Mortensen, Liv Tyler

Review by Steve Rhodes
3 stars out of 4

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS, the second in the series, is another stunning technical achievement for director Peter Jackson. The sets, the music, the cinematography and the settings are all magnificent feasts for your eyes. Your heart, however, will likely be a bit disappointed since this sequel has none of the enormous emotional impact of the first film. Although the two films are the same length, the first made time stand still, whereas the latest makes three hours feel like, well, three hours.

Teenagers could end up liking THE TWO TOWERS more than THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING since it relies more on computer-generated imagery and non-stop action to tell the story. The most interesting and well developed character this time turns out to be a CG character called Gollum (well voiced by Andy Serkis). Confusingly, Gollum is also known as Sméagol. With his split personality, the freaky-looking Gollum has raging verbal battles with himself. (The worst characters are some of the cheesiest tree people that you've ever seen. They look like they were adapted from a Disney animated movie destined to go direct to video.)

Speaking of confusing, whereas THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING was a complex tale, lucidly told, THE TWO TOWERS is frequently downright impenetrable. And, if you haven't seen the first one, starting with the second is probably hopeless.

After two-and-a-quarter hours have passed, one of the characters proclaims, "So it begins!" The movie finally discovers its raison d'être with a big, long battle sequence that takes up the rest of the time. It's impressive, it's stirring, but I felt like I had seen it before.

THE TWO TOWERS is entertaining, even if it is disappointing, clearly suffering from a bad case of middle movie malady. Let's hope that Jackson learns from his mistakes this time and makes his final LORD OF THE RINGS film to be a worthy companion to his first, which was one of last year's very best films.

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS runs a long 2:59. It is rated PG-13 for "epic battle sequences and scary images" and would be acceptable for kids around 10 and up.

Copyright © 2002 Steve Rhodes

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