STARRING: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Liv Tyler, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Bernard Hill, Christopher Lee, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving, Miranda Otto, David Wenham, Brad Dourif, Karl Urban, Craig Parker, John Leigh, Bruce Hopkins, John Bach and Andy Serkis
EARNED (Worldwide): $926m
AWARDS: 2 Oscars (Best Sound Editing and Best Visual Effects) and 2 BAFTAs (Best Costume Design and Best Special Effects)
While Frodo and Sam edge closer to Mordor with the help of the shifty Gollum, the divided fellowship makes a stand against Sauron’s new ally, Saruman, and his hordes of Isengard.
Following on from the events of The Fellowship, hobbits Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee travel alone to Mordor to destroy the one ring until they capture a creature named Gollum, who then decides to lead them to Mordor, much to Sam’s objections. Merry and Pippin have been captured by the Uruk-hai and their escape leads them to encountering Ent Treebeard. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli however make their way to Rohan and their people, where they learn that a large Uruk-hair army, thanks to wizard Saruman, is making its way towards them, bent on the destruction of Man and Midde-Earth, leading to an epic battle at Helms Deep.
The Two Towers, following up from The Fellowship brings with it a more dark and more epic scale take on the next part of the journey in the battle for Middle-Earth as we now enter the first major battle that we witness at Helms Deep and boy does it still work to this day thirteen years on in terms of scale, choreography and how seamless the special effects looks, especially compared to the CGI-fest that followed in The Hobbit trilogy. Again the cinematography throughout the film is terrific and sells the New Zealand landscape very well in terms of ‘come visit us please, look how awesome it looks here!’ vibe. Narrating the multiple stories involved here, with three groups splintered from the Fellowship, Jackson does a great deal balancing that though deep down, I’m sorry, I can just never be bothered anymore with the Mary/Pippin angle due to having to listen to Ent Treebeard putting me to sleep one more time….sorry lads. The Frodo/Sam angle is compelling due to the addition of Gollum to the dynamic, as well as giving us more character development of Gollum and again Serkis does a terrific job with the movements especially as the character. The cast are very good here and thanks to the battle at Helms Deep, it remains a solid followup to the Fellowship.
FAVOURITE SCENE: The buildup and beginning battle at Helms Deep.
FAVOURITE QUOTE: ‘Bring your pretty face to my axe.’ – Gimli
DID YOU KNOW?: Viggo Mortensen broke two toes while kicking the steel helmet by the orc pyre, and that take is the one that actually appears in the movie. Peter Jackson said that he was really impressed with the shout of pain Aragorn cried out for the fate of the two hobbits, realizing only later that it was real pain for his toes. He was also impressed by the fact that Mortensen continued acting even while so seriously injured. Mortensen later remarked that the only reason it was even mentioned on the DVD release was because he was an actor and that the stunt crew were injured far worse and pushed through it.