The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Reviews
Another excellent CG character is Treebeard, a "Treeherder" who protects Merry and Pippin and eventually gets pulled into the fray himself. He sings, tells stories, and questions the Hobbits in a slow voice that sounds like a record player slowed down.
The slowest parts of the film involve Aragorn's relationship with Arwen, the elf from the last film. She has to contemplate leaving him or facing a future where he eventually grows old and dies, but she never does. These scenes add little to the narrative and are a bit boring.
The film does take off for the last 40 minutes, when the Battle of Helm's Deep begins. It is really rousing with a great sense of geography that a lot of large scale battle scenes like this don't have. Score: 9
The Two Towers has a somewhat rocky start due to a surplus of exposition. This plagues most of the first act, and some of the second, but ultimately doesn't sink the ship. The first acts do start to drag at points, especially during the time spent with the Treebeard and the hobbits. I was extremely interested in what was happening with Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, but my interest with the hobbits and the Ents was waning as I heard more and more dull dialogue. I understand that the audience was supposed to understand the frustration of having to hear Treebeard speak so slowly, but the time spent with Treebeard was too frustrating and overlong to be appreciated for what it was meant to do. The third act really picks up, and it is clear during the action sequences that Peter Jackson has improved as a director; they are more comprehensible and therefore more enjoyable. It is still obvious that most of the action sequences are simply meant to move the plot along, but the filmmakers still put in effort to make them exciting. I was a bit underwhelmed by the action sequence with the Ents, but the battle of Helm's Deep was well-choreographed, well-directed, exciting, and fun; it overshadowed the forgettable fight sequence. The cinematography, costume design, set pieces and makeup effects are excellent; more impressive than that of the previous film. The cast is still outstanding, but the script doesn't match the quality of the acting. The acting is still impressive, but the surplus of exposition and bad dialogue holds the actors down. The special effects range from impeccable to mediocre, while the motion capture is extremely impressive.
The Two Towers isn't quite as satisfying, well-written or interesting as The Fellowship of the Ring, but the cinematography, direction, effects and action sequences are definitely better than that of the first installment in the acclaimed trilogy. I'm excited to see The Return of the King, and if the final installment is good, then The Lord of the Rings trilogy can rank as one of the best of all time.