One Busy Guy reviews...

Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers

The much anticipated second of three ‘Rings’ movies has arrived. If possible this installment is more grand and impressive than its predecessor. It is also darker, much more graphic and a good deal more complex. The producers manifestation of dark creatures in these tales is truly horrific. Oliphants appear on the screen (humongous elephant like creatures sporting 4 tusks), wargs arrive (great mutant wolves bearing riders), the Nazgul (dragon like flying reptiles employed by the ‘black riders’). These are just a few of the many perils of middle earth. There are of course the dead marshes but that is little compared to the rugged terrain. For the 179 minutes of the film our two hobbit heroes scramble over slate and rock and mountain in their furry bare hobbit feet!

The original Tolkien stories were filled with simple rural wisdom and values along with a good deal of humor. The first movie did little to bring out these endearing characteristics despite the lighter tone. In this recent release we are able to glimpse some of the authors warmth and intent. The CGI creature Gollum has a rather large presence and owing to his multiple personalities is given over to several of the films more lighthearted moments. We meet Treebeard and watch as the Ents (or walking trees) achieve the drowning of Isengard (a once pure fortress given over to the dark lords will and guilty of chopping trees). The hall of Rohan (the horse masters) can be likened to the tale of Beowulf. The shield maiden Eowyn who fears cages above all falls for the handsome Aragorn unaware that he is betrothed to the elven maid Arwen and so unwittingly places herself in a cage of her own design.

The scale of this sequel is nothing less than enormous. The battle of Helm’s Deep features many thousands of troops both evil and good and harkens back to the great biblical epics of Hollywood’s golden era. As a life long fan of the Tolkien stories I was riveted for the entire presentation but that may not be the case for those who have yet to read the books (However, only two persons exited the cinema during my viewing). The story line hints at distant liaisons and unavoidable heart break. Frodo the Ring bearer (aided by his faithful gardener Samwise) lurches on towards destiny as the ring slowly engulfs him. Only now his fate is entrusted to the duplicitous Gollum who waits for his chance to steal ‘the precious’. We have only to wait for the next movie… next year!

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