Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers

Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers

4.7 134
Director: Peter Jackson

Cast: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler

     
 

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The second film in Peter Jackson's series of screen adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's internationally popular Lord of The Rings trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers literally begins where The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring ended, with the Fellowship splittingSee more details below

Overview

The second film in Peter Jackson's series of screen adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's internationally popular Lord of The Rings trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers literally begins where The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring ended, with the Fellowship splitting into three groups as they seek to return the Ring to Mordor, the forbidding land where the powerful talisman must be taken to be destroyed. Frodo (Elijah Wood), who carries the Ring, and his fellow Hobbit Sam (Sean Astin) are lost in the hills of Emyn Muil when they encounter Gollum (Andy Serkis), a strange creature who once carried the Ring and was twisted by its power. Gollum volunteers to guide the pair to Mordor; Frodo agrees, but Sam does not trust their new acquaintance. Elsewhere, Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd) are attempting to navigate Fangorn Forrest where they discover a most unusual nemesis -- Treebeard (voice of John Rhys-Davies), a walking and talking tree-shepherd who doesn't much care for Hobbits. Finally, Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Gimli (John Rhys-Davies), and Legolas (Orlando Bloom) arrive in Rohan to discover that the evil powers of Saruman (Christopher Lee) have robbed King Theoden (Bernard Hill) of his rule. The King's niece Eowyn (Miranda Otto) believes Aragorn and his men have the strength to defeat Saruman, his henchman Wormtongue (Brad Dourif), and their minions. Eowyn soon becomes infatuated with Aragorn, while he struggles to stay faithful to the pledge of love he made to Arwen (Liv Tyler). Gandalf (Ian McKellen) offers his help and encouragement as the Rohans, under Aragorn's leadership, attempt to face down Saruman's armies, but they soon discover how great the task before them truly is when they learn that his troops consist of 10,000 bloodthirsty creatures specially bred to fight to the death. Most of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers was shot in tandem with The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King during a marathon 18-month shooting schedule, overseen by Peter Jackson.Co-writer and director Peter Jackson continues his Oscar-winning, box-office blockbuster adaptation of the classic fantasy novel from author J.R.R. Tolkien with a second installment that plunges the fictional setting of Middle Earth into a vicious war. Welcome additions to the action in the sophomore adventure include the CG-created Gollum, moving front and center as a major character that's simply amazing in its ability to entertain and move the viewer emotionally. The most pathetic creature in the trilogy, he's a schizophrenic nightmare but heartbreakingly human and poignantly, dazzlingly realized by a combination of actor Andy Serkis's physical skill and Jackson's special effects experts. Gollum puts the similar Jar Jar Binks character of the second Star Wars trilogy to shame. Also thrilling are a climactic battle between Ents (living "trees") and the evil wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee) that brings to mind any number of breathtaking sequences from The Wizard of Oz (1939), and the final clash between humans and invading enemy forces at Helm's Deep, a lengthy but thrilling clash of bows and shields that recalls the superb fight sequences from Braveheart (1995). Less persuasive are some storytelling elements that fall victim to the filmmakers' effort to condense the story into a three-hour running time: several gaps in the action occur and a few developments are left unexplained, such as how the forces of Eomer (Karl Urban) grow from a few dozen to thousands, how the defenders of the realm of Gondor manage to defeat their attackers, why the Ringwraiths have suddenly switched mounts from horses to dragons (why did they use horses at all in the first film?) -- and why Tolkien felt the need to give every location, character, and object in his work at least three utterly confusing names (those who haven't read the books may be left wondering what the difference is between Eomer and Faramir or Gimli and Grima). However, the simple fact that a novel as dense and detailed as this one hasn't been turned into a labored bore is a miracle; that Jackson has fashioned such a triumphant success is a real artistic achievement. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) may be imperfect in its occasionally frustrated effort to squeeze every significant plot element into the mix, but it's a visual marvel and a definite raising of the artistic bar for its entire genre. No filmmaker will ever be able to create a sci-fi or fantasy epic again without comparison against it.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
The second part of this epic trilogy, based on the perennially bestselling fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien, not only meets but surpasses the high standards set by the initial film, The Fellowship of the Ring. Director Peter Jackson, working from a masterfully adapted script by Frances Walsh, condenses the second book's narrative in a way that captures all the highlights and eliminates the dragging spots. The result is a truly spectacular movie, crammed with action and darker in tone than its predecessor. The story initially focuses on the hobbits Frodo Baggins (played by Elijah Wood) and Sam Gamgee (Sean Astin), who press on toward Mordor and the ultimate disposition of the magical ring they reluctantly bear. Our attention is subsequently directed toward other members of the Fellowship -- human Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), elf Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and dwarf Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) -- who join forces with a group of humans besieged by demon warriors commanded by the malevolent Lord Saruman (Christopher Lee). Utilizing spectacular New Zealand locations, Jackson's production has enormous scope and majesty, but the director never loses sight of his characters, whose personalities are fully crystallized here. The acting is of a uniformly high caliber, with octogenarian Lee and newly minted genre stalwart Ian McKellen (returning as the wizard Gandalf) edging out their younger costars for top honors. Computer-generated effects are employed generously, but rather than dominating, the action they complement it. A movie that is truly dazzling in every way, The Two Towers builds mammoth anticipation for the trilogy's conclusion, The Return of the King.
All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
Co-writer and director Peter Jackson continues his Oscar-winning, box-office blockbuster adaptation of the classic fantasy novel from author J.R.R. Tolkien with a second installment that plunges the fictional setting of Middle-earth into a vicious war. Welcome additions to the action in the sophomore adventure include the CG-created Gollum, moving front and center as a major character who is simply amazing in his ability to entertain and move the viewer emotionally. The most pathetic creature in the trilogy, he's a schizophrenic nightmare but heartbreakingly human and poignantly, dazzlingly realized by a combination of actor Andy Serkis's physical skill and Jackson's special effects experts. Gollum puts the similar Jar Jar Binks character of the second Star Wars trilogy to shame. Also thrilling are a climactic battle between Ents (living "trees") and the evil wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee) that brings to mind any number of breathtaking sequences from The Wizard of Oz (1939), and the final clash between humans and invading enemy forces at Helm's Deep, a lengthy but thrilling clash of bows and shields that recalls the superb fight sequences from Braveheart (1995). Less persuasive are some storytelling elements that fall victim to the filmmakers' effort to condense the story into a three-hour running time: several gaps in the action occur and a few developments are left unexplained or vague, such as how the forces of Éomer (Karl Urban) grow from a few dozen to thousands, how the defenders of the realm of Gondor manage to defeat their attackers, why the Ringwraiths have suddenly switched mounts from horses to dragons (why did they use horses at all in the first film?) -- and why Tolkien felt the need to give every location, character, and object in his work at least three utterly confusing names (those who haven't read the books may be left wondering what the difference is between Éomer and Faramir or Gimli and Grima). However, the simple fact that a novel as dense and detailed as this one hasn't been turned into a labored bore is a miracle; that Jackson has fashioned such a triumphant success is a real artistic achievement. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) may be imperfect in its occasionally frustrated effort to squeeze every significant plot element into the mix, but it's a visual marvel and a definite raising of the artistic bar for its entire genre. No filmmaker will ever be able to create a sci-fi or fantasy epic again without comparison against it.
New York Times - Elvis Mitchell
Never has a film so strongly been a product of a director's respect for its source. Mr. Jackson uses all his talents in the service of that reverence, creating a rare perfect mating of filmmaker and material.
Time Magazine - Richard Corliss
Towers, while not quite so varied as Fellowship in its moods and settings, has a grave gusto that energizes every moment...a thrilling work of film craft.
Washington Post - Stephen Hunter
Jackson's not messing around. His commitment to this world is total. He's on a mission from Tolkien, and you either go along or you get trampled.
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert

The Two Towers is a rousing adventure, a skillful marriage of special effects and computer animation, and it contains sequences of breathtaking beauty. It also gives us, in a character named the Gollum, one of the most engaging and convincing CGI creatures I've seen.
Variety - Todd McCarthy
Has a sharper narrative focus and a livelier sense of forward movement than did the more episodic Fellowship.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/26/2003
UPC:
0794043623431
Original Release:
2002
Rating:
PG13
Source:
New Line Home Video
Presentation:
[Full Frame]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Elijah Wood Actor
Ian McKellen Actor
Liv Tyler Arwen
Viggo Mortensen Actor
Sean Astin Actor
Cate Blanchett Galadriel
John Rhys-Davies Actor,Treebeard
Bernard Hill Theoden
Christopher Lee Actor
Billy Boyd Pippin
Dominic Monaghan Merry
Orlando Bloom Actor
Hugo Weaving Actor
Miranda Otto Eowyn
David Wenham Faramir
Brad Dourif Grima Wormtongue
Andy Serkis Actor
Karl Urban Eomer
Craig Parker Haldir
Sala Baker Sauron
Marton Csokas Celeborn
Joel Tobeck young Gollum
Sean Bean Actor

Technical Credits
Peter Jackson Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Joe Peter Bleakley Art Director
Philippa Boyens Screenwriter
Victoria Burrows Casting
Carolynne Cunningham Asst. Director
Ngila Dickson Costumes/Costume Designer
David Farmer Sound/Sound Designer
Dan Hennah Set Decoration/Design
Michael Horton Editor
John Hubbard Casting
Philip Ivey Art Director
Peter King Makeup
Alan Lee Set Decoration/Design
Andrew Lesnie Cinematographer
Michael Lynne Executive Producer
Amy MacLean Casting
Grant Major Production Designer
Liz Mullane Casting
Jabez Olssen Editor
Mark Ordesky Executive Producer
Barrie M. Osborne Producer
Rob Otterside Art Director
Peter Owen Makeup
Hammond Peek Sound/Sound Designer
Rick Porras Co-producer
Mark Robins Art Director
Ann Robinson Casting
Jamie Selkirk Co-producer
Robert Shaye Executive Producer
Howard Shore Score Composer
Stephen Sinclair Screenwriter
Richard Taylor Costumes/Costume Designer,Makeup Special Effects
Ethan Van der Ryn Sound/Sound Designer
Fran Walsh Producer,Screenwriter
Bob Weinstein Executive Producer
Harvey Weinstein Executive Producer
J.R.R. Tolkien Source Author

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