Continuing my review of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Two Towers upped the grandiosity, giving us the Helm's Deep battle in all its glory. The rest of the film was a gradual build up to this spectacular fight, with Jackson holding nothing back.
Picking up right where Fellowship left us, Frodo and Sam continue with their journey into Mordor to destroy the One Ring. They are being tracked by Gollum/Smeagal, whom they ambush and take prisoner. Before killing him, Gollum convinces Frodo that he is worth keeping around, as he can show them the way into Mordor. Meanwhile, Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas are hot on the trail of orcs who have kidnapped hobbits Merry and Pippin, believing they are who their master, the treacherous Saruman, seeks. The 3 eventually run into the knights of Rohan, who have been sort of out-casted due to their king, Theoden, being under a spell by Saruman. Together with Gandalf the White, who makes a thunderous return from near death, they dispel the hold over Theoden, and head for Helm's Deep to move away from Saruman's gathering army. Merry and Pippin manage to escape from their orc captors, and run into Ent Treebeard (living trees), and eventually convince him to help in the battle against Saruman's evil forces. All of this leads into a two-pronged epic battle with the Ents attacking Saruman's tower, and the siege of Helm's Deep.
I knew I was in for a true treat after witnessing the previous years' Fellowship. Jackson delivers a very strong second act, again dropping us at a cliffhanger, but I suppose that didn't matter since it was Tolkien's intention for it to be one story broken into 3 parts anyways.
With a soaring score by Howard Shore, beautiful aged sets, and epic battles, you simply don't get higher quality and better storytelling then this trilogy. It truly set the bar for fantasy.
Second acts always benefit from having the most difficult task of a trilogy. They aren't the beginning, so they have to get us back into the mood, and they aren't the end, so they have to end on a note that will want you to come back for the last part. Two Towers makes that process look easy.