The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Extended (2002) Review

Posted February 20, 2016 by in Fantasy


Our Score

5/ 5

Length: 235 mins
Release Date: 18 November 2003
Studio: New Line Cinema
MPAA Rating:
Actor: , , , , , , , , , ,


Pretty much everything; music, acting and visuals. Just beautiful.


The Wargs look a bit crap.

The Two Towers is my favourite of the LOTR trilogy with amazing performances, especially by Andy Serkis and Bernard Hill.

by Eoin Friel
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Plot: While Frodo and Sam, now accompanied by a new guide, continue their hopeless journey towards the land of shadow to destroy the One Ring, each member of the broken fellowship plays their part in the battle against the evil wizard Saruman and his armies of Isengard.

Review: The Two Towers is my favourite of the Trilogy and after just watching it again I’m reminded as to why. The writing is fantastic and the focus is more on the human characters, therefore creating more emotional resonance.

The overriding theme in this one is of industry taking over nature and destroying all that is green and good in the world. When Tolkien was growing up he would see Industry taking over the land he loved so much and it broke his heart to see so much beauty destroyed.

I have two favourite characters in this one: King Theoden of Rohan and of course Gollum/Smeagol. By the way, I can do the best Gollum impression in the world aside from Andy Serkis.

The way Serkis brings him to life is fantastic, it’s the only time CGI/Motion capture has genuinely impressed me and I love how Gollum is portrayed like a junkie, addicted to the power of the ring. He’s a pathetic character ruined by the ring and you feel genuine pity for him. The following scene is my personal favourite scene with Gollum/Smeagol.

Frodo: [in front of Gollum] You were not so very different from a Hobbit once, were you?
[Gollum looks up at him]
Frodo: Smeagol.
Gollum: What did you call me?
Frodo: That was your name once, wasn’t it?
Gollum: My name? My name… Smeagol.

The look that crosses Gollum’s/Smeagol’s face is wonderful, full of regret and a sad joy that he begins to remember who he was. Even getting a real life performer to show such emotions on their face would be tough, but to achieve it through motion capture is fantastic.

Theoden has arguably my favourite dialogue of the saga; the scene after his son’s funeral is so heartbreaking when he says “No parent should have to bury their child.” It means so much more when you know the meaning behind it. Several years before LOTR, Bernard Hill (Theoden) was doing a play in my home town of Glasgow about the troubles in Northern Ireland.

Afterwards a woman came up to him and praised him for the play and she said to him “Thank you for doing this, no parent should have to bury their child.” It stuck with him and he used it in that scene in The Two Towers. We always get a bit teary eyed at that scene as it has that extra meaning. Bernard Hill completely embodies Theoden; he’s a man who has lost all faith and is convinced that they are doomed. This is when Aragorn steps up and and tries to persuade him otherwise.

The film is filled with sadness and despair but as everyone else appears to lose hope, Aragorn begins to accept his destiny as a future King and leads the final battle of Helm’s Deep. This is my favourite battle scene of the Trilogy and the finale is arguably my favourite scene of all time. When Gandalf arrives with the Riders of Rohan and they charge down the hill, my God I get a shiver down the spine every time.

Elrond has some great lines as well especially: “He will come to death. An image of the splendor of the kings of men in glory, undimmed before the breaking of the world.” Now THAT is writing.

Despite what John-Rhys Davies said when I interviewed him, I think he did a magnificent job of providing the voice of Treebeard. He has this grandfatherly, gentle voice which works so well in bringing the character to life. The Last March of the Ents at the end is also a personal favourite scene. I remember when I watched it in the cinema for the first time; when they come out of Fangorn and see all of the trees destroyed and Treebeard looks around in shock, you could have heard a pin drop.

In terms of new scenes, there are some more scenes with Treebeard which I love and a few more Gollum moments, which are always welcome.  The best new scene involves Faramir, Boromir and Denethor; it adds some nice backstory to the father/son relationship.

This is actually the only one of the three films where it didn’t really require an Extended Cut. Sure I love nearly all of the new stuff but it really worked just as well in the Theatrical version.

The one new bit which I don’t like is the very end with Merry and Pippin in the food pantry as it’s just really lame.

Other flaws? I’ve never liked the Wargs, I always thought they looked terrible and were the worst visual effects in all three movies.

Aside from that, an absolute masterpiece once again. It’s got an astounding music score which is also my favourite of the Trilogy. Best tracks include Forth Eorlingas and Evenstar. Just absolutely stunning.

Overall, this is arguably my favourite film of all time. Well acted, beautifully shot, perfect music and genuinely moving. There is always hope!

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About the Author

Eoin Friel

I started The Action Elite a few years ago; it's grown from strength to strength but now seems like the right time to expand. I've always loved different movie genres like horror, sci-fi and dramas so you'll see a wide range of different movies covered here.


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