The Lord of the Rings:
The Two Towers

Elijah Wood (Frodo)
Sean Astin (Sam)
Andy Serkis (Gollum)
Viggo Mortenson (Aragorn)
Liv Tyler (Arwen)
Cate Blanchett (Galadriel)
John Rhys-Davies (Gimli)
Orlando Bloom (Legolas)
Bernard Hill (Théoden)
Ian McKellen (Gandalf the White)
Christopher Lee (Saruman the White)
Billy Boyd (Pippin)
Dominic Monaghen (Merry)
Hugo Weaving (Elrond)
Miranda Otto (Eowyn)
Davind Wenham (Faramir)
Brad Dourif (Grima Wormtongue)
Sala Baker (Sauron)

(2002) Of the three movies in this trilogy, this one was the hardest one to do for Peter Jackson. The first and third movies are always the "easy" ones because they are the beginning and end. If you write an essay, the hards parts are always the beginning and the end. It was a completely different story with this movie. What made this movie so hard to make was the fact that this series was based off of a book, it is hard to maintain the dignity of a film based off of a movie. A big example of that is the terrible re-creation of the Twilight series. But, in the end, The Two Towers proved to be more than exceptional. This movie is the continuation of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, where the fellowship has been broken and split up into four groups, all with their own story that meet up in The Return of the King. Frodo and Sam are on their way to Mordor to setroy the Ring. However, they meet up with the creature that has been following them ever since Moria, Gollum. He tries to take the Ring, but Frodo and Sam overpower him and restrain him. They eventually barter with him, if he takes them to Mordor, they will spare his life. Gollum agrees to their agreeement an becomes their guide. Along the way, they get captured by Gondor soldiers, one of whom is the fallen Boromir's brother Faramir. He finds out that they have the Ring, so he tries to take it for his own and for Gondor. Sam tells him that they were on their way to Mordor to destroy it. So out of kindness, he lets them go. When they get released, Gollum's evil and more selfish side takes over and plots against Frodo and Sam to kill them and to take the Rings after they are dead. Another story that takes place is when Merry and Pippin at first are with the Orcs that kidnapped them in the first movie. They drop some of their belongings for Aragorn to track them. When the Orc party stops for a rest, they are ambushed by a group of horseriders from Rohan, and the only survivors were Merry and Pippin, who take refuge in Fangorn Forest near the massacre. They meet an Ent, a walking, talking tree, named Treebeard. He at first thinks that they are Orcs so he tries to kill them. Treebeard has a hard time believing them so he takes them to "The White Wizard". When he says that, they aotumatically think that they were going to see Saruman. We don't figure out who the wizard really is until later in the movie. Anyways, Merry, Pippin, and Treebeard eventually talk about the impending war. Treebeard says that his race are nuetral in this war. Then, they find that a huge fire has taken place where most of his tree friends are. He knew that Isengard, Saruman's stronghold, is responsible of this. So he gets together all other surviving Ents and make an attack towards Isengard. They destory the damn and flood out the entire stronghold. The final story that takes place is with Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas, easily the hardest story to tell. After three days of following the trail of Merry and Pippin, theyfind the horseriders that massacred Merry and Pippin's captors and they say that they left none alive. They go to the field where it happened and find a mound of burnt Orc bodies. They think that they have failed their quest. But, Aragorn find a trail that lead them to believe that they were still alive, into Fangorn Forest. They trek into the old forest trying to find them. Legolas then senses another entity in the forest near them. They think it is Saruman, like Merry and Pippin thought. When the White Wizard reveals himself, he is actually the reincarnated Gandalf. He tells them that after he slayed the Balrog, he was renewed and purified for another quest: to help stop the fall of Rohan. They al travel to Rohan where the king, Theoden, has been possessed by Saruman. Gandalf frees Theoden of the curse and then finds out that Griam Wormtongue, the kings advisor, has been in league with Saruman the entire time. He then flees back to Isengard. With Theoden alive and well, he learns that Saruman's Forces are coming to Rohan. He orders the immediate evacuation of the city to their refuge, Helms Deep. On their way, the convoy is attacked by Wargs, beastily like wolves, ridden by Orcs. In the battle, Aragorn falls into a river, presumed dead. He survives the fall and his horse eventually finds his master to take him to Helms Deep. The people within the Deep are overjoyed that he survived. However, Aragorn brings bad news. While on his way to Helms Deep, he sees roughly 10,000 orc soldiers on thei way to Helms Deep. Theoden at first doesnt believe it, but the seriousness of Aragorn made him believe. So, Theoden orders every man and strong boy to bear arms on the eve of battle. On that same night, with a stroke of luck, a huge group of Elves comes to the aid of Rohan, coming on behalf of their once great alliance between the races, wishing to honor that allegiance. Prepared for battle, they all see the Orcs marching toward them, and the battle begins. A long and heated battle it was, ending with the bottlenecked men and Elves making a charge to make it out of the overrun Helms Deep. Then, over the horizon they see the silluoette of Gandalf with the horesriders of Rohan, they come charging down the hill and almost wipe out and/or drive away the Orcs. At the end of this story, Gandalf, Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, and Theoden realize that this was only the beginning.

This movie was a very good movie to me because of the complexities of it and how Peter Jackson was able to get through this potentially risky move. This kind of movie could onyl be really good or really bad, and Jackson made it really good. He had three stories to tell, that all went on at the same time, and he had to edit it just right, when to use the necessary match cuts like that. In a way, when i was watching this movie, i was reminded of American Graffitti by George Lucas, because that format is identical to this one, only it doesn'y span out to three consecutive movies like the Lord of the Rings Trilogy was.

Also, I liked how the film looked artistically, because that is Peter Jackson's forte. He always makes his films look good in any sort of way, especially how the camera work is used. The lighting is this movie is once again used by the infinitely beautiful scenery of New Zealand. The crane shots and/or helicopter shots in this movie were absolutely stunning, like the shot of Edoras, the kingdom of Rohan. That set was especially built for that movie, and I'm not sure what it is used for now.

The camera work in this movie was very well done, especially in the Helms Deep battle, that was not only a hard film to choreograph, but it was hard to get the right shots in so he can use what he gets to edit it out, which makes the editing even better. Jackson always liked to use all angles in his scenes so he can make the editing somewhat "easier" to do, if that is a correct term to use. One use of the camera that jumped out at me was the close ups used to show the emotions of the characters, like Frodo when you see his face with the sword about to kill Gollum. He doesnt look as corrupt then. Towards he end of the movie, they use the same shot of him with the sword, only he was about to kill Sam when he gets ahold of himself, I thought that he needed to do that one.