LOTR: The Two Towers – Extended Edition (2002)

Saruman (Christopher Lee) and Grima (Brad Dourif) atop Isengard looking over the army
Saruman (Christopher Lee) and Grima (Brad Dourif) atop Isengard looking over the army

The two towers refer to Saruman’s (Isengard) and Sauron’s (Barad-Dur) strongholds.  The fellowship has gone its separate ways, so there is much more to see in this film.  Saruman’s army is getting bigger each day.  We see how Uruk-hai are being bred (gross); Treebeard (voiced by John Rhys-Davies, who also plays Gimli) thinks they are orcs crossed w/ men. 

Saruman's eye atop Barad-Dur
Saruman’s eye atop Barad-Dur

Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) travel with Gollum (Andy Serkis), a creature that they can’t fully trust.  Gollum says that he can’t be far from the ring, and calls Frodo “master.”  He had the ring for 500 years, so is in its power (as Galadriel explained in FOTR). 

Sam (Sean Astin), Frodo (Elijah Wood), and Gollum (Andy Serkis)
Sam (Sean Astin), Frodo (Elijah Wood), and Gollum (Andy Serkis)

One of the best things about the EE- Sean Bean!  We get to learn more about Boromir, his younger brother Faramir (David Wenham), and their father Denethor (John Noble).  Faramir offered to go to the council of Elrond at Rivendell, but his father refused him. 

Faramir (David Wenham) and Boromir (Sean Bean) drink a toast
Faramir (David Wenham) and Boromir (Sean Bean) drink a toast

Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas meet Eomer (Karl Urban) and the horsemen loyal to him.  He’s in despair, after losing his cousin (Theodred) in battle and being banished from Edoras by Grima.  Théoden (Bernard Hill) is under Saruman’s spell, so he can’t function as king.  I love the Rohan musical theme! 

Eomer (Karl Urban) has been banished from Rohan
Eomer (Karl Urban) has been banished from Rohan

The White Wizard that everyone seems to fear turns out to be a good guy- Gandalf! 

Gandalf the White (Ian McKellan)
Gandalf the White (Ian McKellan)

Merry and Pip first see him (in Fangorn Forest).  We see the ingenuity of these two hobbits.  After escaping from Saruman’s forces, Pip leaves a trail which Aragorn follows.  Merry realizes that the Ents (tree herders) can help in the battle for Middle Earth. 

Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas riding toward Edoras
Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas riding toward Edoras

The CGI effects on Théoden were very cool!  He comes back to his old self in a few moments.  But his only son is dead, and he laments this in a nice scene with Gandalf.  The young are not supposed to die while “the old linger on.”

Grima and Theoden (Bernard Hill)
Grima and Theoden (Bernard Hill)

My favorite character in this film is Eowyn (Mirando Otto).  She is caring, can handle a sword (will see just how well later), and develops a friendship w/ Aragorn.  Does she love him?  Or does she want to fight beside him as an equal?  Maybe both!  In the EE, we learn that Eowyn can’t cook very well.  Aragorn grows to admire Eowyn. 

Eowyn (Miranda Otto) asks Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) about the jewel (Evenstar)
Eowyn (Miranda Otto) asks Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) about the jewel (Evenstar)

Gimli is quite funny in this film, though he continues to fight very well (as in FOTR).  He and Legolas are more friendly here, but have an ongoing rivalry.  We learn that dwarf women also have beards.  

Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) provides some much-needed humor
Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) provides some much-needed humor

Frodo and Sam learn that Boromir is dead from Faramir, captain of Gondor.  Faramir is another of my faves in the LOTR films- he’s the reluctant warrior who’s a deep thinker.  He sets the hobbits free after realizing the destructive power of the one ring, and the importance of the quest. 

Faramir is almost tempted by the ring
Faramir is almost tempted by the ring

Elrond (Hugo Weaving) convinces Arwen (Liv Tyler) to leave Rivendell and travel to The Undying Lands.  In a somewhat eerie sequence, he speaks of her future life should she marry Aragorn (a mortal man).  I think this is a bit longer in the EE. 

Flash forward scene with Arwen (Liv Tyler)
Flash forward scene with Arwen (Liv Tyler)

The toughest stuff to shoot was the battle at Helm’s Deep, the cast and crew explain on disc 4 of the EE.  The elves, lead by Haldir (Craig Parker), come to fight beside the men/boys of Rohan.  Then a new day comes, and Gandalf, Eomer, and his men ride in to defeat the Uruk-hai army. 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s