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

by British Film Critic

What makes The Two Towers such a compelling epic is that it takes the formula of the first instalment and flips it on its head, dividing this established group up, with each sub-section going on their own individual adventures, allowing the world to widen and the character work to be a lot more concise. Through this, even though there were specific character threads that I wasn’t particularly engaged in, due to the story’s momentum, you’re never stuck in one place for too long, and you always feel as if everything is moving along at a pace that never really lets you get bored.

With every passing moment, you can genuinely feel the scope continuing to expand – although the glimpse at Middle Earth shown to us in the first instalment was engaging to say the least, The Two Towers aims, and succeeds, at fleshing out the world the series inhabits to a degree very few, if any films have done before, where it feels wholly lived in and tangible, placing the viewer in a prime position for the ultimate conclusion which is to come, by having them engrossed in a world that took so much attention to detail to create, and reaps a considerable level of immersion as a result.

The film’s third act is honestly perfection in my eyes: I needn’t mention the gravitas, scale, and captivating nature of the Battle Of Helm’s Deep, which is hands down one of the greatest battle sequences ever committed to film. Each of our separate group of characters’ journeys seems to converge as the film draws to a close, with the earnest exchanges between Samwise and Frodo being just as compelling as the Ents’ revenge being just as compelling as the riveting conclusion to the Battle Of Helm’s Deep, not only bringing an immense level of satisfaction, but setting up the series finale in such an indirect yet successful way, relying on our investment in the characters and our own predictions for the future, to carry us along.

I’ve seen many call this one of, if not the best movie sequel of all time, and after rewatching it, I’m honestly not in a position to deny that.