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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 Susan Granger
4 stars out of 4

You must see "The Fellowship of the Ring" before "The Two Towers," because director Peter Jackson begins this J.R.R. Tolkien action-adventure second-act with the wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee) and his brutal Uruk-hai warriors in the snowy mountains of Middle Earth and Gandalf (Ian McKellen) in a fiery battle with the Balrog. No prologue, no explanation of how the tiny hobbit Frodo Baggins (still-cherubic Elijah Wood) acquired the tempting, all-powerful One Ring and became reluctantly embroiled in a cataclysmic, courage-and-carnage fight between good and evil. It's a major adrenaline rush. Then the quest plot kicks in as Frodo and his faithful friend Sam (Sean Astin) trudge toward the fires of Mount Doom, led by the enigmatic Gollum. Not only is the Gollum (voiced by Andy Serkis) the most ambitious, amazing CGI creation but his split personality is a revelation. And there are so many phantasmagorial creatures like the walking, talking Treebeard, an ancient Ent of Fangorn Forest - elephantine Oliphaunts, who bear war-towers into battle - and the terrifying Wargs, which blend the ferocity of bear, wolf and hyena. Between violent battles and creepy encounters, Gimli the Dwarf (John Rhys-Davies) provides comic relief, plus there's the tepid love triangle of the human Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), the immortal elf Arwen (Liv Tyler) and lovely Eowyn (Miranda Otto), the Viking-like Rohan whose kingdom is besieged. Bravo to previous Oscar winners: special effects designer Richard Taylor, cinematographer Andrew Lesnie and composer Howard Shore. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "The Two Towers" is a visually awesome, triumphant 10. Recalling the first "Star Wars" trilogy, "The Two Towers" is like "The Empire Strikes Back," a thrilling, epic war movie.

Copyright 2002 Susan Granger

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