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Movie Review: The Fellowship of the Ring: The Two Towers




WARNING: If you're considering viewing this with your young children:
This film is definitely not for young children or the faint of heart -- it's a grown-up movie with scary and violent dream imagery, which parents should see for themselves before allowing their children to view it.
Recommended
for kids age 10 and up based upon parental approval.  Rated PG-13 for epic battle sequences and some scary images.


For the legions of Lord of the Rings fans who flocked to last year’s The Fellowship of the Ring – the wait is over! The second part of director Peter Jackson’s ambitious adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy The Lord of the Rings opens where the first left off.The title, The Two Towers, refers to Saruman’s tower of Orthanc and Sauron’s tower of Barad-dur, which are teamed in an unholy alliance. According to director/writer Peter Jackson, “It’s a story of genocide to some degree, of these two evil forces deciding that the race of Man must be eliminated from the face of the earth.”




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In this second film, Jackson and his collaborators bring front and center Tolkien’s themes of good vs. evil, nature vs. industry and friendship vs. the forces of corruption.


oBodyTextIndent2 style="TEXT-INDENT: 0in">“What we are trying to do is honor these themes,” Jackson says. “And while you can never be totally faithful to a book – especially a book over 1,000 pages – we have tried to incorporate the things that Tolkien cared about and make them the fabric of the films.”


oBodyTextIndent2 style="TEXT-INDENT: 0in">The Two Towers expands the world of Middle-earth introduced in the first film. “The second story involves the characters being split and each character has an individual journey,” says Elijah Wood, who plays Frodo. “The world becomes larger, so it’s a lot more interesting dramatically and visually. It’s three movies, but it is one story.”


oNormal>“People are anticipating the next chapter of what happens because it becomes much more dynamic, and much more interesting, in my opinion,” Wood says. “There are more battles and, of course, you’ve got the inclusion of Gollum, which is one of my all-time favorite characters in literature.”


oNormal>Gollum, we discover, is not all he first appears to be. In fact, he was once a hobbit like Frodo, but his 500-year possession of the Ring has warped his body and mind past recognition.


oNormal>“Not all of the new characters of The Two Towers are played by human beings,” notes Jackson dryly. Both Gollum and Treebeard are digital characters created by WETA Digital Studios in New Zealand. Richard Taylor, who won two Oscars for his work on The Fellowship feels the stakes on this movie have been raised both in regard to the story and in terms of the design and visual effects.




“I wait in great anticipation as we hold out to see what audiences are going to think about The Two Towers, because the first film has been hailed as this incredible epic, but that’s nothing compared to what’s to come,” he says.


For example, the film depicts the colossal battle at Helm’s Deep, in which thousands of Uruk-hai soldiers storm the Rohan fortress, through an intricate combination of live action, miniatures and digital effects. And it is here that Aragorn must rise to the occasion and unite the human kingdoms of Rohan and Gondor against the evil axis that threatens the destruction and enslavement of Middle-earth. Will he triumph or will the forces of darkness prevail?


This film is definitely not for young children or the faint of heart -- it's a grown-up movie with scary and violent dream imagery, which parents should see for themselves before allowing their children to view it. Recommended for kids age 10 and up based upon parental approval.  Rated PG-13 for epic battle sequences and some scary images.


More Movie Reviews of new and recent releases.

From United Parenting Publications, January 2003.


 


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