Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The

Reviewed By wintermute
Posted 01/06/03 14:03:50

"Should have been called 'The 3 Hours'"
1 stars (Sucks)

I think I am the only person in North America not to be been charmed, awed, wondered, enthralled, emancipated, overwhelmed, blown away, melted, or castrated by this film. It sucked.

That's right I said it. I did not enjoy The Two Towers. I found it to be a bloated slow moving trainwreck that did little to hold my interest for more than a few minutes at a time. I could not help but feel that so much of the this film rides on the fact that it expects you to be interested in the characters and plot, but unfortunately, I am not that easy a date - my interest has to be piqued, not assumed.

To begin with, I am not a huge fantasy fan and should probably not have seen this film. However, it was during the holidays, and sadly, in a moment of weakness, I agreed to catch a matinee. That being said, I didn't go into the theatre with a negative attitude - all the reviews had been positive, and my friends assured me that my hesitance was unfounded. And so, when the lights went down, I sat still and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

3 hours later, I was still waiting. Waiting for the nurse at the local clinic to verify that I still had a pulse. Not since Solaris had I witnessed such lethargic, disjointed filmmaking. It was as though someone had created an incredibly long tourism video for New Zealand, full of soaring helicopter shots and vistas and then populated the mountains and valley's with mythical creatures. On top of this, the film failed to achieve any sustainable tempo or rhythmn, largely due to a persistent lingering on slow subplots that perhaps had a place in the larger scheme of things, but were simply emphasized at the wrong time and for too long.

Characters slipped in and out of the narrative like contestants on The Price Is Right. Like villages in this film, it seemed as though anytime Tolkien needed a creature or a location he pulled it out of thin air, gave it a name you wouldn't remember long enough for it to matter, and then just as quickly disposed of it by having it ride off over the crest of a hill or burned to the ground. I remember that there were some guys with swords, some blonde elves with bows, and some really ugly creatures with ugly weapons grunting ugly things at an ugly wall.
The good guys lose, but then they win, or do they? Who can tell in this topsy turvy world where trees can wreak terrible vengeance on mortals, and tiny creatures with no shoes hold the key to the future. I was unfortunately unenthused by the drawn out battle sequences, which reminded me of watching my ex-roommate play Playstation. And while the raves about the CGI sidekick had me watching close, I still ultimately felt more empathy for R2D2, an artificial partner brought to life by far cheaper methods. The guy beside me fared even worse - he fell asleep about midway through.

So there you have it. Call me a hater, call me what you will, but I guess the film just wasn't for everyone. Proper editing could have easily cut 45 minutes out of this film, and then they could have stuck that on the Special Special Edition DVD, pleasing both the studio and me. I just wish I had brought a book.

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