It's been a long year hasn't it? At a time where we're told a great evil rises in the east, and war threatens all the land, we scour the scenery looking for heroes to show us the way. Now besides being a recap of CNN these days it summarizes the plot of the second installment in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, "The Two Towers".
Last Christmas, I left the movie theatre, thrilled and amazed with the "Fellowship of the Ring". And that's exactly where the "Two Towers" leaves you, wanting more. These latest cinematic adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's mythic legend brings his fantasy to life in such a compelling way, that you can't help but be in awe.
Peter Jackson and the cast and crew he's assembled to build the "Lord of the Rings" clearly gets it. They push their artistry and skills to the limit as they fabricate their impassioned vision of Middle Earth. And while there will always be purists to bemoan how films are not as good as the books, even these folks must allow that the entire production crew love the original material and have given us their all in capturing the true spirit of Tolkien's legends. Their dedication to the myth delivers us a spectacle that takes your breath away.
These movies actualize Tolkien's epic storytelling that inspired theories of Joseph Campbell, the musings of Led Zeppelin, and the imagination of any teenager who picked up the dense texts in school.
Applause to New Line for taking chances. Any studio that would allow Peter Jackson, the director who brought us demented weirdness like "Meet the Feebles" or "Dead Alive" anywhere near the holy grail of fantasy fiction takes some vision. And clearly New Line's leap of faith has paid off.
"The Lord of the Rings the Two Towers" is pretty close to perfect. And while seeing Gimli the Dwarf reduced to comic relief makes you wince at times and parts of the overscored soundtrack overwhelms some scenes, these details can be ignored with how many things the movie gets right. Details like casting Cocteau Twins singer Elizabeth Frasier to sing the elven melodies to the computer animated genius of the massive Orc army or the incredible depiction of my favorite characters the Ents, the race of tree-people who become involved in the fray. "The Two Towers" comes through with over three hours of fun filled fantasy that MUST be seen on the big screen.
The worst part about seeing "The Two Towers", is watching the credits roll, knowing we have to wait another whole year before we get to watch the third "Lord of the Rings" film, the "Return of the King". I'm already counting the days...
For Movie Magazine, this is Purple.
© 2003 - Purple - Air Date: 12/18/02
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
USA/New Zealand - 2002