“– What’s happening out there?
– Shall I describe it to you? Or would you like me to find you a box?”
(a conversation between Legolas and Gimli just before the Battle of Helm’s Deep)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, the second instalment of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, was released fifteen years ago on 18th December 2002 in the UK. It is based on the second volume of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel The Lord of the Rings and it gained great critical acclaim as well as commercial success, earning over $926 million worldwide. The picture is currently the 43rd highest-grossing film of all time and the biggest box office success of 2002.
The second part of the franchise continues the plot of the first movie, The Fellowship of the Ring. The fellowship is split: of its nine members, two are dead; Merry and Pippin have been taken prisoner by orcs and are on their way to Isengard, Saruman’s base; Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, after finding out about it, go after the enemy to free them from captivity, while Frodo wants to complete the mission of the Ring-bearer at all costs, even alone. However, Sam does not bear the thought of leaving him and defiantly supports him with his burden.
…The Two Towers is commonly hailed by critics as one of “the greatest films of our era”. It was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, and won Best Visual Effects and Best Sound Editing. The second instalment of The Lord of the Rings trilogy was also given a very positive response from the audience. In CinemaScore polls conducted during the opening weekend, moviegoers gave the film an average grade of “A” on an A+ to F scale. As if this was not enough, it also holds a Metacritic score of 88 out of 100, indicating “Universal Acclaim”, and the film also holds a 96% ‘fresh’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 249 reviews, with an average score of 8.5/10.
The movie satisfies the majority of Tolkien fans and, at the same time, fascinates the wider audience unfamiliar with Tolkien’s work. It makes Middle Earth clear and easy to understand. Besides, the picture is even more effective than the first one, and more thrilling as well as emotional. The Battle of Helm’s Deep provides viewers with the best features of action films and the perfect realisation of a medieval battle. Interestingly, it has been named as one of the greatest screen battles of all time, but if you look closer this is unsurprising. It is shot with great skill and sense of time, giving us a couple of laughs alongside the genuinely dramatic moments, and fulfilling most (if not all) of the possibilities of the scene. The film’s cinematography is just stunning and again every element seems very realistic in its depiction. When it comes to the music, composed by Howard Shore, it has become commonly well-known, and considered a classic. It is quite difficult to realise that all this does not take place in the real world.
Nowadays The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is thought to be one of the best fantasy classics of all time. What is particularly interesting is that it did not take long after the whole trilogy came out for this movie to be thought of as such. It also played an important role in creating one of the biggest fandoms in the world and gaining hearts of millions of fans.
Remind yourself of this magnificent classic by checking out the trailer below: