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The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers (2003)

The Two Towers

A new power is rising

Rating: 9/10

Running Time: 172 minutes

UK Certificate: 12


You’ll struggle to find a film that’s either visually or technically more breath-taking, awe-inspiring and generally overpowering than this, the second instalment of the epic ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy.

Picking up where ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ left off, Hobbit duo Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) are still on their quest to dispose of that pesky ring before arch-baddy Saruman (Christopher Lee) has his way and a can of worms is spilled all over Middle Earth.

This time, however, the little guys with the big feet are more than a little upstaged by Gollum, the CGI-generated fish-muncher whose unhealthy obsession with the ring has long since made him a tad anti-social. He sure does like his jewellery, but don’t even THINK about trying to persuade him to settle for a nice bracelet. As far as Gollum’s concerned, it’s the ring or nothing.

Meanwhile, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli (Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom and John Rhys-Davis) are preparing for an almighty battle with a frothing army of Uruk-Hai at Helms Deep. Grunting, slobbering, arriving in their thousands and jabbering incomprehensibly, these orc-types bear more than a passing resemblance to your archetypal Rangers supporters.

This is the battle that constitutes the bulk of the entire last hour in this three-hour marathon. And, while that means it’s probably too long not to be regarded as a little self-indulgent, it’s impossible not to see the sweeping cinematography involved as absolutely magnificent.

Making the pre-determined middle portion of a trilogy is always going to be difficult, and fans of the original J.R.R. Tolkien novels may be a little hacked off at some of the more obvious departures from the literature. But neither of those factors need necessarily detract from ‘The Two Towers’ sheer grandeur as a film in its own right.

It's Got: Gollum holding entire conversations with himself, in easily the movie’s best instances of dialogue.

It Needs: Gimli the dwarf to be used for something other than questionable moments of comic relief.

DVD Extras A phenomenal package, including a plethora of featurettes about the making of the movie, a short film directed by Sean Austin (Sam), exclusive 10-minute preview of the next part of the trilogy, a Gollum music video(!!), and a preview of the ‘Return of the King’ video game. Having said all of that, I’d still be wary about buying this one, because you’ll probably kick yourself when they decide to bring out a ‘Special Edition’ a few months later. And then there’ll be the boxset in a few years’ time. Then there’ll be the 10th anniversary edition. Then the 10th anniversary special edition that’ll come with a free mug. And so on, and so on… (Ed In fact you can already preorder the two and FOUR disc extended version which is released in November) DVD Extras Rating: 10/10


Visually it’s even more impressive than the last movie, but in term’s of pure story-telling it falls ever-so-slightly short of its predecessor.