Ebert: Rolling Stone: TV Guide:
Revised Score: I don't usually do this but it has always bothered me (after I became a fanatic fan of the Lord of the Rings movies) that I only scored this movie as a 4 star film. In retrospect this score was completely unfair and biased by my distaste for the genre. My revised score provides a more accurate quantification of my contemporary beliefs.
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is one of the greatest action movies ever made. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy will be, undeniably, the greatest filmed series in history. If Police Academy 3: Back in Training had been a little more hilarious, The Rings trilogy might have had some competition but as it stands today, The Lord of the Rings is the greatest achievement in modern film. The 3 hour running time flies by much too fast and you will immediately want to watch it again as soon as you leave the theatre.
"The Fellowship has been broken. Boromir is dead, Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee have gone to Mordor alone to destroy the One Ring, Merry and Pippin have been captured by the Uruk-hai, and Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli have made friends of the Rohan, a race of humans that are in the path of the upcoming war, led by its aging king, Théoden. The two towers between Mordor and Isengard, Barad-dúr and Orthanc, have united in their lust for destruction. The corrupt wizard Saruman, under the power of the Dark Lord Sauron, and his slimy assistant, Gríma Wormtongue, have created a grand Uruk-hai army bent on the destruction of Man and Middle-earth. The rebellion against Sauron is building up and will be led by Gandalf the White, who was thought to be dead after the Balrog captured him. One of the Ring's original bearers, the creature Gollum, has tracked Frodo and Sam down in search of his 'precious', but is captured by the Hobbits and used as a way to lead them to Mt. Doom. The War of the Ring has now begun..." *Will @ imdb.com
I know I usually write my own synopsis but this one touched on every detail of the film unlike the rambling summary I had written and deleted. Additionally, I assume that you have by now, no doubt, seen the movie. As you know from my previous review of Fellowship of the Ring, I'm not a fan of the fantasy genre but I love this movie series! It's probably better that I never read the books. The most common, and really only, complaint I ever hear about the series is that it doesn't follow the book word for word and page for page. And to that I say... 'so what!'
Peter Jackson and his Weta special effects workshop are the new masters of the CGI universe. As I watch the DVD Special Edition Fellowship of the Ring "making of the film documentary", I am able to finally see the insane amount of special effect work that went into the final cut of these films. And as you already know, the more special effects and CGI the better the film. It's an easy equation that Hollywood is finally learning.
As an added bonus, Two Towers has the first totally, seriously realistic looking CGI character ever. Gollum is the first step toward the pure synthetic reality that some of us clamor toward with unbridled enthusiasm while others condemn as the prematurely designed obsolescence of our entire species. Obviously I reside with the first group. I will be first in line, once the clone-testing is complete, to have my neural jack implanted so that I can hang out all day long with Gollum in the Matrix. Gollum represents a fully realized cast member in The Two Towers. The camera is so confident that you will believe it actually lingers on him in close-up. There are no quick cut-aways or forced perspectives, Gollum is as real as Gandalf!
And the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is as good as movies get. Since this last Christmas, we have now seen two of the awesome movies that make up The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Next Christmas, director Peter Jackson will give the world the final installment in the greatest cinematic achievement in history. (Unless the Matrix sequels coming this summer blow this whole trilogy away like so much elvish pixie dust!)