The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
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Back in early 2002 when “The Fellowship of the Rings” had already been released, Peter Jackson was already talking about he working on production on “The Two Towers”. Unbelievably, the title sparked controversy. Y’see some nut jobs thought the title “The Two Towers” was too close to the tragic events of 9/11, and some loser with too much time on his hands created a hugely promoted petition campaigning to change the name of the title. Now, little did this loser know that “The Two Towers” is in no reference to The World Trade Center, because these books were written in the fifties. The movie wasn’t renamed and life went on. Can you imagine an alternate title? “The Lord of the Rings: Attack of the Clones.”

The sequel to the 2001 blockbuster has premiered and begins where the first one last left off. The hobbits Merry and Pippin have been taken hostage by an army of Orcs, Frodo (Elijah Wood  The Faculty) and Samwise (Sean Astin  Rudy) are on the track to Mount Doom to destroy the ring and the three warriors Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimley are tracking the orcs hoping to save the two captured hobbits. Frodo and Samwise are not alone, though. They have captured a fiend that has been tracking them for days; a fiend named Gollum; an ex-hobbit who became a creature from his obsession with the ring. The entire movie is a race against time because Samwise must help destroy the ring before Frodo goes down the same path as Gollum, Merry and Pippin must get to Frodo before he is captured, and the three warriors must get to Rohan before war ensues between the kingdom of Rohan and the Orcs.

Ah, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, rarely is there ever a sequel that is better than its predecessor; Godfather 2, Blade 2, and now this one. To say that this is a great movie would be an understatement within itself. Once again, surrealistic Peter Jackson instills his unbelievable vision in this as we get to see unbelievable landscapes and beautiful lands. This part of the saga tends to focus more on the three warriors than the actual hobbits. We do get to see Frodo, Samwise in their drastic situation as they must cope with Gollum. Frodo pities him because he hopes he can save the creature as he becomes more obsessed with the ring. We don’t actually see much of Merry and Pippin and they’re not in the movie much, but they’re scenes are very effective as they are rare.

The plot with the three warriors is also lengthier as we get to experience more of Legolas’ and Aragorn’s friendship. Plus, they must corrupt the kingdom of Rohan and help the feeble king as his mind is corrupted by Sarumon’s agent Grima Wormtongue (Brad Dourif  Chucky’s voice from Child’s play). A war is ensuing and boiling as Sauron sends his Orc army of thousands to face off against the army of Rohan which only possesses a few hundred. Aragorn must struggle to move on with his life as he is parted with his elven love Arwen (Liv Tyler  Armageddon). This movie is full of incredible original scenes of sword-fighting, cross bow action and unbelievable war scenes. Now, I save the best for last; Gollum (played by Andy Seirkis). I have to commend the special-effects team on this creation, because he is the most realistic looking computer generated character I’ve ever seen.

He is a marvel of modern technology as he screeched and crawled his way throughout this film. I was stunned by his look; at times I had to convince myself he was a character because his features are so real, it’ll leave you perplexed and stunned by his facial expressions. I looked around the theater and could see people’s expressions as they stared wide-eyed at this pathetic bug-eyed creature. At risk of sounding clichéd, this is a masterpiece of monumental proportions. Bravo, Mr. Jackson (sniff). Unfortunately, Peter Jackson adds to the story not seen in the book as the movie goes on with lengthy and sometimes dull love scenes between Galadriel and Aragorn. I was practically falling asleep during these scenes waiting for the better sub-plots to start. Peter Jackson should’ve seriously re-thought adding these scenes. All in all, this is indeed a sequel that surpasses its predecessor in every form from acting, to stunts, to special-effects. Peter Jackson is truly a genius. Bravo.