Thoughts on LotR: The Two Towers

Well, we finally got around to seeing The Two Towers last night. The short version: nice effects and over-all it’s fairly well done, but I think I liked the first one better. Read on for my thoughts.

OK, where to begin? Enough has already been said about how amazing this movie is, and I would mostly echo that. The effects in general, and specifically Gollum and the Massive-generated scenes are really good. I only spotted a few glitches in the CGI (Legolas hopping off an outcropping just before the Warg/Orc ambush, and a few oddly-moving Orcs at Helm’s Deep), but these were minor.

Having just finished re-reading the books, perhaps most of my problems with the second installment of the trilogy stems from the deviations from the book. Some of these are OK, and obviously things had to be cut for time, and other things altered to make sense. My biggest problems with the deviations were Faramir taking Frodo and Sam to Gondor and Faramir’s character in general (although he does come out all right in the end), and the place at which it ended (although how it comes together in the third movie will make me reconsider).

As far as the writing goes, Frodo’s increasing burden of the ring was overdone, and Gimli should not have been used as comic relief. Period. Although there was a “larger” feel to this movie, it wasn’t as intense as the last one, probably because it kept jumping around between the three story lines.

My final impression was that I enjoyed the first movie better. I did enjoy this one, but I found myself looking at the effects rather than losing myself in the story. I think part of it is there was so much material to cover it was almost overwhelming, and this is the middle of the trilogy, and therefore not as able to stand on it’s own. I’m looking forward to the last movie, and to eventually seeing all three back to back.

Darn, now I have to wait for December.