"It was nothing, just a dream."
The minions of Lord Sauron are still doing their best to retrieve the ring in this central film in Peter Jackson's trilogy. Middle Earth is about to be
torn asunder by the battle between good and evil in theis epic adventure. Jackson's trilogy represents an unprecedented adventure in filmmaking
as well. All three films were made simultaneously over a space of a year and half of production. The release of the first part in December of 2001
was met with worldwide acclaim and brought in over $860 million. It also garnered 13 Academy Awrad<©> nominations winning four. The
groundbreaking techniques that were used for Lord Of The Rings brought theTolkien universe to life and was desreving of the Best Visual Effects
"The white wizard will know."
By the end of THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING Gandalf (Ian McKellen) plunged to his doom into
the pit at Khazad-dum. Boromir (Sean Bean) meet his death after attempting to take control of the ring. He left behind his Gondorian
brother, Faramir (David Wenham) whom we meet in the second film. The two Hobbits, Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin)
are left alone to continue their journey to Mount Doom.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS opens with a recap of Gandalf's battle with the fire giant. This time we see how the battle
between the two adversaries continued down the near bottomless pit. As they fall, the battle between them is feirce and it ends in a flashback later
on in the movie. Meanwhile we find Froddo and Sam still wandering the mountains of Emyn Muil trying to reach their destination only to find themselves going in
circles until the meet the star of this sequel. Gollum is introduced into the main story line and what a great character he is. Even though he is the
most amazing cgi computer creation, he should be nominated for an Oscar or at least Andy Serkis should be for creating the incredible voice and
schizophrenic characteristics Gollum portrays. Guaranteed when you leave the theatre audtiorium Gollum will be utmost in your mind; he absolutely
steals every scene he is in. Watching Gollum, the one time protector of the Ring, talk to himself in the two voices of his good and evil self is amazing
and really creepy. In one scene when he has been supposedly betrayed by Frodo he speaks and hugs himselfs in two identities while Faramir
looks on. While watching this scene you will forget it isn't a real being performing, but a sophisticated computer image. Of course this is also due to
Serkis's fine portrayal of Gollum. The one time hobbit that has been turned mad by the ring, is beautifully rendered with his slender arms and bugged
out eyes. The funny thing is that everytime I looked at Gollum I saw Peter Lorre. He looks so much
like Lorre in fact that if he were still alive and younger this great actor would have been the perfect actor to portray a live action Gollum. For those
two young to remember Peter Lorre watch such films as CASABLANCA, ARSNIC AND OLD LACE, 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE
SEA and countless more.
"I found it I did, a way through the marshes."
When Gollum moves so lifelike it is due to Andy Serkis. The actor was dressed in a sensor covered suit while acting the part of the of Gollum. All his
movements are recorded to computers where the animator's translate them into a CGI animation over his image. So when Elijah Wood or
(Sean Astin) interact with the character they actually make eye contact with a real on stage actor. On screen it appears that Frodo is making
eye contact with Gollum, which of course helps the little critter look more lifelike. He moves, talks walks and fights in a realistic manner which of
course makes his monologues even more hauntinly realistic.
"Your words are poison."
The story bounces back and forth between the main characters as we are witness to the adventures of each group. Aragorn
(Viggo Mortensen), the Elf archer Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Gimli the Dwarf (John Rhys-Davies) end up in the beseiged
and gloomy Rohan kingdom who is ruled by the once great King Theoden played by Bernard Hill. The king has fallen under the spell of
Saruman (Christopher Lee) through the devious manipulations of the slimy and sinister Grima Wormtongue (Brad Dourif). If a name
ever fit a character this is the one. He is a slimy disgusting worm of a character who fawns over a repulsed Eowyn. The niece of the king is played by
Miranda Otto a beautiful woman who recognizes that the human Aragorn is a natural leader. She is attracted to Aragorn but he is constantly
thinking about his enduring love for the Elf Arwen (Liv Tyler) and the pact they made together. Whenever Wormtongue is on camera in the
Rohan storyline his performance steals the scenes with his snake like performance.
"Breathe the free air my friend."
"Dark have been my dreams of late."
When the reborn Gandalf appears in the king's court as the new Gandalf the White he reminds Aragorn that it is his destiny to help unite the Rohan
people with the peoples of Gondor who are the last remaining stronghold of human resistance to the evil Lord Sauron. To this end Gandalf The White
helps bring King Theoden back from the brink of insanity by banishing the possession by Saruman. After Wormtongue is banished they realize
that they will soon be attacked and over run by Lord Sauron's nightmarish troops. Their only hope is to lead the people of Rohan to the one place
they can defend themselves, Helm's Deep. There they will meet their destiny by battling valiantly 10,000 raging orcs, Uruk-hai and other beasts that
were bred with lethal intent. This is an amazing battle that will keep you glued to your seats. The logsitics of filming this scene must have stretched
director Peter Jackson's abilities to the max. Apparently he had to stage the battle scenes with models of castles and little plastic toy soldiers to keep
it all together. You will understand when you see the complex battle sequences at Helm's Deep. This entire trilogy has been a big step for the the man
who's first film was DEAD ALIVE, it was billed as the vilest most disgusting horror film made and you know it was true. He also directed
Michael J. Fox in THE FRIGHTENERS, his most successful film until this triology came along.
"He's dead. He took a little tumble off the cliff."
Jackson has given us a picture with non stop conflict this time around with a prodigious climatic battle that would make any director of the old epic
Roman films jealous. You will see vast armies mount a seige of Helm's Deep's castle walls with a fiercious zeal. Arrows and spears fly as countless
lives are lost and new alliances as well as old ones are renewed.
"Three hundred against ten thousand."
"They are going to die."
"Then I will die as one of them."
Gimli the Dwarf is used extensively in this film to provide us with not only deeds of bravery but with a great deal of humour. This short legged hero
charges into battle with no care for his safety. Most of these deeds of derring-do are filled with comedic moments. He dives headlong at a horde of Orcs
and ends up face in the mud.Fe provides those humourous moments need to break the tensions of battle. Standing at the parapets of the castle wall
as they are being attacked he keeps bouncing to see over the wall at the enemy. There is even an ungoing rivalry between Legolas and himself
over who kills the most Orcs. This is done in a humourous manner that again gives you a breather during the devasting attack. Humour is important
during the dark scene so that you as a viewre can just have a second or two to catch your breathe.
"We never say anything unless it takes a long time to say."
The film is full of incredible images. There is the excellent footage of the oliphants, the wargs, winged Nazgul and a forest full of Ents. The Ents are
incredible tree creatures. Live trees that walk and talk and when push comes to shove, they even fight. The trio of warrior Aragorn, dwarf Gimli, and
elf Legolas pursued a party of Uruk-hai warriors who held captives the fellowship's two other hobbits, Meriadoc 'Merry' Brandybuck (Dominic
Monaghan) and Peregrin 'Pippin' Took played by Billy Boyd. Thinking the two dead they moved on to Rohan but Merry and Pippin
end up in the limbs of the Ents leader Treebeard. The tree's movements are very good and their scenes are very entertaining. Merry and Pippin
struggle to convince the trees to help fight against Saruman and when they do they fight with an intensity that will help take down the Orthanc Tower in
Isengard where wizard Saruman plots to take over Middle Earth for his Lord Sauron. This is a spectacular sequence at the climax of this second part.
"What are we holding on to, Sam?"
"There is good in this world, Mr. Frodo and it is worth fighting for."
Over all this is a spectacular movie that will bump any film off the number one postition and shoud garner many nominations again this year at the
Academy Awards<©>. It should stay in the number one position for two or three weeks pushing all competitors aside in it's wake.
I word of advise when going to see this great film. Don't start drinking that large drink in your hand for a good half hour or more into the movie.
The last thing you want to do is get up to use the utilities during the last third of the movie. Go see it more than once, it's worth it.