Lord of the Rings 2, the Two Towers
The Two Towers
I have seen the second Lord of the Rings film, The Two Towers and I don't
think much of it. I left the cinema feeling betrayed, that $100 million
had been spent on a film that was untrue to the book.
(Warning, includes spoilers)
Liked the Fellowship of the Ring
I really enjoyed the first film and thought it was very true to the book (The
Fellowship of the Ring), with beautiful scenery and it included many of the best
scenes from the book. I felt that it portrayed the splitting of the
fellowship very well, that Frodo had leave and continue the quest on his own.
Hopefully this list will be cathartic and I can move on from my
"grief" to enjoy the film properly.
Problems at the Two Towers
The second film, though very slick, had many flaws, of which about 4 were
major and there were several others that annoyed me:
- Aragorn falling from a cliff, being kissed by a horse - in the book, Aragorn
didn't fall off cliff, and be woken up by the kissing of a horse. It
just looks stupid in the context of the film.
- Elves at Helm's Deep - the elves and the character Haldir weren't at Helm's Deep. I
suppose this is a transplant from the city of Minas Tirith where the elves
and humans fought against Sauron. I think that the humans, ents and trees should have had their day against
Saruman and his orcs. Why the need for the elves during the humans'
finest hour? Perhaps for variety in the combatants?
- The teleportation of Frodo, Sam and Faramir to Osgiliath to meet the
flying Nazgul - this brief section looks to be a gratuitous addition to the film, apparently to showcase the
CGI of Osgiliath and of the flying Nazgul. Why teleportation?
There's a large river in the way and many days travel.
- Merry and Pippin - not a particularly exciting film for this pair, all they do is
escape from Uruk-Hai, and spend the film chatting with the Ents (off-screen
mostly). Their part was somewhat downgraded from that in the book.
- Women/children at Helm's Deep - Why are there women and children cowering
in caves? It seems an unnecessary sentimental addition.
- Frodo, Sam and Gollum "visiting" the Black Gate. A
deviation from the book sees the characters fall down a slope and nearly be
found. It belittles the threat of Sauron's forces whilst adding nothing to
- Gandalf waking Theoden - Gandalf gestures with his staff and casts a spell
to wake Theoden from
Saruman's spell. It appears to be unnecessarily over-the-top as
compared to the book, which has Theoden grasp his sword, which causes the lines fall from his face as he
realises the falsehoods he has long been fed.
- Gandalf/Saruman in Fangorn - The book has Saruman wondering the forest of
Fangorn and being seen by Aragorn and others. Later Gandalf also appears in
similar garb and has to explain that it wasn't him they saw earlier A bit of a loss of complexity
- Trees at Helm's Deep - In the book, it is the trees that mop-up the Orcs
as they flee from Helm's Deep. This complexity has been lost.
I can, however, forgive other moments in the film that were not in the book,
such as Legolas shield-surfing, the dwarf-tossing incident, Gollum's chat with
himself, the simplification whereby Saruman is Sauron's minion rather than a
greedy third party, the floppy flowers outside Theoden's city and riding out of Helm's Deep
a la El Cid.
See also my criticisms of the third film, Lord
of the Rings, Return of the King.
If you were looking to buy a DVD of either "The Fellowship of the Ring",
"The Two Towers" or "Return of the King" in the UK, I'd suggest a comparison at Kelkoo
(taken from my pages on shopping and price
comparison sites). The non-extended editions should be available for less than 10UKP.
If I were looking for one of the books, I'd try Kelkoo
or another price
Outside the UK, I'd try an international
price comparison site.