Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is an essential and action-packed entry in this trilogy even if the story does not progress a ton in this middle installment.
Going into this I was the only one of the three of us who had seen the Lord of the Rings films and since none of us have finished the books I came in excited to see the boys’ reactions.
I also determined that I should review the middle chapter since I figured Nat and Austin should take the bigger parts and more important chapters of this tale.
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers I would say is probably my least favourite of the three. That being said I still think this is an excellent film with some of the best action and my favourite moment of the entire series all taking place in this middle chapter. One thing that I will say about this specific entry in the trilogy is that due to its nature of being the middle chapter it starts and ends with no real resolution.
I mean plot points are resolved but this film is a bit harder as a standalone story due to its nature being the middle film. My only other critique of this middle chapter is that Merry and Pippen’s storyline is not my favourite part of this film. Don’t get me wrong I quite like the characters and I understand the importance of that plot but it feels too slow compared to our other two plots moving along in this film.
To move to my positives which are honestly everything else I want to start by talking about the amazing action scenes. This film has some truly wonderful fight scenes but none truly compare to the battle at Helm’s Deep. The battle is about 45 minutes and you get to see a variety of cool stunts and fights that are quite memorable, to say the least. What makes this battle stand out even among the other spectacular battles in this trilogy is that every character gets to shine. If you like Aragorn he gets a ton of moments if you like Legolas he probably does some of his coolest moves in this battle if you like Gimili he has plenty of badass and comedic moments and even if your favourite is Theoden he gets his time in the sun as well. The battle works because of the tension created by our caring for these characters. We know they are outnumbered and we know their courage is hanging by a thread. So when an army of orcs march on Helm’s Deep we feel the tension and when the battle commences the tension breaks and we are left with the wonder of what might happen to our favourite characters. Every fight in this scene is expertly choreographed and has high stakes which make us feel prepared for any result of the conflict. The other battles in this film are quite good as well and I do really enjoy how a lot of this film is broken up with mini fights. I mean it fits with the story since orcs are everywhere and it’s a war but it also fits since there are fewer huge developments in this story than in the other two parts of this trilogy.
That is something I feel is worth addressing as well. Though the series is marketed as a trilogy in both book and movie form. It really plays better as one story; a continued narrative that allows the filmmakers the ability to just jump right back into the story with no introduction and just end the film at any point. It really does differ from most films in this regard and adds to the uniqueness of Lord of the Rings. We get to see this epic journey from beginning to end without really straying from the main conflict and story.
I think that the characters are an important part of this film and the trilogy and I could spend a thousand words gushing about each character but I am going to pick a couple of MVPs of this specific entry. My first character is Gandalf. He has an epic entrance in this film and he plays a huge role in gathering more support for the side trying to save middle-earth, without him the consequences would be quite dire. He brings wisdom and calm to help our characters so they feel there is hope in their mission. Sam is my other MVP, mostly for his speech, which is my favourite moment in the whole trilogy and he really states the importance of will and why we fight.
All in all, this isn’t my favourite of the trilogy but I enjoy it every time I revisit this chapter and it has some of my absolute favourite moments in the series. So if it’s your 1st or 10th time, definitely give this one a watch.