The Lord of The Rings

Being New Year’s Eve I decided to hide away from some excessive partying and see Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers in central London.

The second cinematic instalment starts more-or-less at the point we left of with Frodo dreaming of Gandalf’s fall. I began by thinking we were in for a decent length of re-worked footage from the first film but, of course, I was wrong.

If you haven’t seen the first film and haven’t read the books you will need to do one of them before seeing this film for no concession is made to explain the previous tale. Thus, we must accept that the Fellowship is now split into three and we have three stories.

Frodo and Sam’s tale gets darker as the film progresses as Frodo comes under the influence of the ring. They are joined by Gollum which is a superb character despite being a computer-generated image.

The second group of Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas go in search of Merry and Pippin only to find themselves rushing to the aid of King Theoden of Rohan and featuring some amazing battles sequences. Merry and Pippin themselves find the company of the Ents whose role seems to have been played down in the film. The Ents are my favourite characters from the books and I had been waiting to see if they could be brought to life convincingly on the screen. Peter Jackson has done an amazing job on them and I was only saddened that they didn’t appear more.

There are, perhaps predictably, few surprises in this second film. There is little to discover in the central characters and, with perhaps the exception of Gollum, very little seems to be learnt about newer characters. However, it remains a stunning piece of cinema and one that I will certainly see again and again.

The Guardian has a summary of the main players. Other reviews can be found at Empire Online and Teletext.

On this day…