posted on Dec, 8 2002 @ 08:21 PM
Two Towers gets mixed reviews
09 December 2002
The latest instalment of Wellington director Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings film trilogy has been met with mixed reviews since it opened in New
York last week.
Variety Magazine's lead film reviewer Todd McCarthy and American website www.rottentomatoes.com
reviewer Owen Gleiberman had different views on the 179-minute Two Towers film, the second film in the trilogy.
McCarthy said the film was in some ways more impressive than the first - The Fellowship of the Ring.
It had a sharper narrative focus and a "livelier sense" of forward movement than the trilogy's first instalment.
"Marked by non-stop conflict and a gargantuan climactic battle that (Japanese film director) Akira Kurosawa would have envied...
"As before, the exceptional New Zealand locations seem to have been created to order for the trilogy...
"Tolkien's descriptions have been physically realised in the sets, costumes, make-up, hairstyles, special effects, and the cast is indisputably
impressive," McCarthy said.
The film was an "...amply satisfying second serving of fantastical adventure".
Both McCarthy and Gleiberman rated the film's battle at Helm's Deep and digitally created character Gollum as standouts.
"To describe the battle of Helm's Deep, the spectacular deathly cataclysm that's the climactic sequence of the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers as
'big' would be an understatement," Gleiberman said.
"It's not every day that a special effect turns in a splendid performance (ET comes to mind), but Gollum... has a crackling, maniacal, yet weirdly
Gleiberman did criticise the battle of good and evil characterised in the films based on the books by JRR Tolkien.
"...the heroes are so clear-souled and upright that they're effectively purged of internal struggle; their battle is exclusively with forces outside
"That was never the case in, say, Star Wars ñ or, indeed, in any counterworld adventure movie that I can honestly say I'm stirred by," Gleiberman
In labelling the film B-grade, he said: "...what it comes down to is superbly staged battle scenes and moral alliances forged in earnest yet purged
of the wit and dynamic, bristly ego that define true on- screen personality".
Other reviewers endorsed the film, which opened on Friday.
"Much like the second book's opening, director Peter Jackson does not spend too much time reacquainting audiences with characters and the prequel's
plot," reviewer Christopher Cobb said on the website u-wire.com.
Jackson had done a "fantastic job" in filming what some had labelled an "unfilmable" series.
"Women will once again swoon over macho Viggo Mortensen's Aragorn and too-cute Orlando Bloom's Legolas as they impale countless Orcs while
defending Helm's Deep in a battle sequence that rivals Star Wars: Attack of the Clones in technical splendour," Cobb said.