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THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS

 

"Never has a film so strongly been a product of a director's respect for its source. Mr. Jackson uses all his talents in the service of that reverence, creating a rare perfect mating of filmmaker and material...there may even be folks out there who haven't seen 'Fellowship,' but will be lured into theaters for 'Towers' by all the attention that 'Fellowship' attracted. Such moviegoers may feel left out, puzzled and unable to keep up...The exultant creepiness of horror films is Mr. Jackson's instinctive filmmaking style. He exaggerates it here in epic terms, and the grandeur is astonishing." --Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times


"'The Two Towers' is one of the most spectacular swashbucklers ever made...it is not faithful to the spirit of Tolkien and misplaces much of the charm and whimsy of the books, but it stands on its own as a visionary thriller...What one misses in the thrills of these epic splendors is much depth in the characters...The details of the story--who is who, and why, and what their histories and attributes are--still remains somewhat murky to me...Jackson has steered the story into the action mainstream. To do what he has done in this film must have been awesomely difficult, and he deserves applause, but to remain true to Tolkien would have been more difficult, and braver." --Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times


"What's remarkable is how immediately, after a full year, 'The Two Towers" seizes your attention, and how urgently it holds you through three seamless, action-packed hours...'The Two Towers' takes more liberties with Tolkien than 'The Fellowship of the Ring' did; it's also more violent and nightmarish...Few people can stage a battle--and the eyepopping siege of Helms Deep is one of the most spectacular you'll ever see--with such sweep and clarity that the carnage doesn't seem an oppressive end in itself." --David Ansen, Newsweek


"The ongoing epic has now entered an awkward adolescence with its middle feature, 'The Two Towers,' on its way to its concluding volume, 'The Return of the King.' Slated for completion next year, the entirety of the 'Rings' looks auspicious even if in its present manifestation this once and future landmark is a bit of a yawn...The director's great strength is the confidence with which he translates Tolkien's vision into visual imagery even if he still gets tripped up converting that vision into dialogue...Like Frodo and Aragorn, we have to cover a lot of middling expository ground in 'The Two Towers'--here, we're just passing through on our way to the end." --Manohla Dargis, The Los Angeles Times



"'The Two Towers' is darker and more fight-filled than 'The Fellowship of the Ring,'and more vauntingly scary, too...Jackson is essentially a horror maestro--he began his career in New Zealand making zombie movies like 'Dead Alive' that were stupendously funny-icky --and he goes even further into gore this time around...Few filmmakers have ever given gross-outs such resplendence...This second installment in the trilogy ends with Gandalf intoning that the battle for Middle-Earth is about to begin. I'm pumped." --Peter Rainer, New York