A new power is rising...
The Fellowship is scattered: Boromir's gone, Gandalf is seemingly dead, Merry and Pippin have been captured, Sam and Frodo are on their own. Nothing seems to be going right. The Two Towers essentially follows these three plot threads (plus several subplots) as everyone goes on their own individual missions.
Aragorn, Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) are on track to go and save Merry and Pippin, the latter, however, have escaped on their own and are hanging out with tree people (Ents). The trio's mission then changes and they're finally off to a big battle. We also get some terrific new characters, this includes Brad Dourif's Wormtongue, a guy who somehow, by looking like Tim Burton's Jim Carrey and being called "Wormtongue" managed to become the king's main advisor. You've got Dredd himself, Karl Urban, as Eomer, David Wenham as Boromir's bro Faramir and warrior princess Eowyn (Miranda Otto) whom, despite being a much better female character than Arwen in this movie, doesn't make it onto the poster. Meanwhile, Sam and Frodo meet Gollum/Smeagol (voiced brilliantly by then newcomer Andy Sirkis) and debate whether to trust him or not as he's their guide but could also, at any moment, decide to kill them in their sleep.
Oh and Gandalf gets a make-over.
We get more spectacle this time around, as well as a bit more character development. We get to see Smeagol have a psychological breakthrough soon followed by another breakdown, Merry and Pippin are too busy with Treebeard and co to be annoying and we finally get a taste of how cool the Aragorn/Legolas/Gimli team really is. Even the simple act of getting on a horse, in Legolas's hands, is simply glorious. The Two Towers was my favorite of the bunch for a long while: it fixed most of the minor problems I had with the first one, Gollum was a lot of fun and the battle scenes were so impressive those 3 hours just flew by. Re-watching it, I feel The Two Towers suffers from a few inconsistencies which, to be fair, is usually a given when you're the middle movie in a closely tied together trilogy.
Here's lookin' at you, Matrix Reloaded.
For one thing, although a lot of useful, important stuff happens, not much of it feels truly useful or important. A lot of time is spent just waiting for those trees to make a decision or waiting for the dynamic trio to get that freakin' battle ready, which isn't too dramatic because the film is never boring but it all seems like a lot of fuss just to move those pawns one tiny step closer to their goal. Cutting out most of Arwen's stuff leaves her coming off as a truly wasted character (she was fine in the first one!) and I also wonder why (and how) Gandalf managed to fight that Balrog by falling down a super-deep hole, riding him then climbing with said monster to the top of a mountain to finish off the encounter.
Then again that could have just been one weird-ass Frodo wet dream...
All that aside, though, The Two Towers is still one hard movie to dislike. It's a necessary bridge between The Fellowship Of The Ring and The Return Of The King and really gets you hyped up for what comes next. It's a darker, more epic outing and introduces a lot of cool new stuff, it's just a shame it's more of a very long trailer for how awesome the next movie's gonna be!
Talking trees lol
What is this? The Hobbit?