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

Title: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
Version: Extended Cut.
Rated: PG-13.
Director: Peter Jackson.
Screenplay: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Stephen Sinclair & Peter Jackson.
Release Date: 2002.
Runtime: 3h55Min.
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy.
Cast: Bruce Allpress, Sean Astin, John Bach, Sala Baker, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Jed Brophy, Sam Comery, and many more!
Budget: $94 Million.
My Overall Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Previously in The Lord of the Rings:
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).

In the face of utmost terror, at the brink of a devastating war, when separated from friends, heroes must embrace the weight of all evil and find strength, not only from within but in the allies in unexpected corners of the world, as outlandish as they might seem, to remain hopeful and survive what destiny has in store for them. Even when staring into the eyes of doom, even when pummeled to the ground by the burden of evil, it is the relentless belief in the good hidden away in the invisible threads of the world that keeps one on their two feet, pushing forward despite the odds of success. Based on the second book in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, written by J.R.R. Tolkien in 1954, Peter Jackson’s movie trilogy continues with the fellowship of the ring’s quest to defeat the Dark Lord as they gather their forces and unite with unlikely allies to face off against evil, no matter the costs.

What is The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) about? Following up on the events that unfolded in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee are lost in the Emyn Muil as they desperately seek passage to Mordor, devoted to bringing the One Ring to Mount Doom. Noticing that they aren’t alone, watched by a vile creature crawling on all fours, they plot a trap for the one known as Gollum and discover that there might indeed be a way out and it will require mercy and trust going forward. Meanwhile, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli set off to save their halfling friends Merry and Pippin from the Uruk-hai. However, Merry and Pippin, take hold of an opportunity to enter Fangorn Forest and meet new allies that could turn the tide of war.

(c) IMDb.

There is no dispute regarding the formidable direction by Peter Jackson in this legendary sequel, demonstrating his incredible tact in terms of source material adaptation as he captures once more the epic and chivalresque spirit behind this epic fantasy adventure. As the core members of the fellowship of the ring once more excel in their respective roles, bringing onto the big screen a wonderful and magical dynamic brimming with fun banter, these actors, whether it be Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn or Sean Astin as Samwise Gamgee, genuinely portrayed their respective characters as if it was their own alter-egos.

Speaking of which, this second installment also breathes life into one of the most iconic CGI characters ever created, voiced by Andy Serkis who was also behind the motion capture, that is, the sniveling and malevolent little Gollum. Magnificently portraying a severe case of split personality, his character, ancillary to the gears of destiny within a Middle-earth in turmoil, is a delightful sight on screen, constantly keeping viewers at the edge of their seats, wondering if Frodo was right to believe he could fix the creature or if Sam’s caution is what will keep them both alive.

Another of the movie’s forte lies in its spectacular action sequences, especially the iconic, cinematic, and pop culture-redefining Battle of Helm’s Deep. While the book barely delves into the details of this confrontation of epic proportions, director Peter Jackson infuses all of his creative energy to display the brutality of its turn of events. While numerous bloodshed does occur throughout the movie, often highlighting the collateral damage and devastating losses that linger around each and every one of the heroes, despite the temporary victories and the comfort of allies by their side, the Battle of Helm’s Deep further cements the disastrous outcome of war and the necessity of courage, resilience, and hope to outlast the assault of evil.

(c) IMDb.

Despite being a spectacular adaptation and sequel, several niggles produced unconscious frustrations, starting with the illogical development of the Ents’ narrative and how Treebeard, who should be connected to the root of everything green in Middle-earth, wasn’t told or aware of Saruman and his orcs’ mischief against trees, making the sudden denouement leading to the epic destruction a bit annoying yet still completely satisfying.

Théoden, Éowyn, and Faramir’s characters were also all three far less appealing to me than their original characterization in the books. Théoden, for one, was much more gallant, honorable, and powerful in stature. His role and his determination were unequivocal. Éowyn, despite suffering from unrequited love, delivers some of the most poetic and beautiful lines in the book, almost making you want to root for her, while the movie’s iteration was a bit too obvious and pushy in the love triangle. And, finally, Faramir, within the books, was a precious and virtuous character, incorruptible, and wasn’t desperately seeking his father’s love. Then again, I will admit that the movie versions of all three characters are still great for the trilogy and makes for an original and more Hollywoodian take on the characters. Odds are that a more accurate portrayal of these characters might not have worked in the grander scheme of things.

It would be difficult not to mention the incredible special effects and cinematography that masterfully captured the epic and grand scope of this tale. Complemented by the irrefutably mesmerizing score composed, orchestrated, and conducted by Howard Shore, this sequel continues to what it does best as it invites viewers into a dangerously terrifying Middle-earth, where heroes do what they can, within their power, to save themselves and their friends, find allies as the suffocating grasp of pending doom grows in the air, and challenge Sauron and his minions’ pursuit of world dominion.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) is a brilliant epic fantasy adaptation building up the wicked tension and the suffocating quest at hand as the fractured fellowship strives to find allies in the midst of danger and chaos.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) is available for purchase and on select streaming services.

Have you read The Lord of the Rings?
Have you seen The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)? Will you?
What did you think about it?
Share your thoughts with me!


25 thoughts on “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) Movie Review

  1. I have to admit, I didn’t care for Eowen’s portrayal in the movie. She came across as much more selfish and self-centered than what I remembered from the books. But overall, it all worked out as she still got to do what she did in the books, ie, killing hte Nazgul. (of course, that might be in the next movie, I tend to mix up events with almost 12hrs to choose from).

    While this reignited a love for Tolkien in a whole new generation of fans and helped get new blood into reading the books, I don’t know how much of that will help in the long run. Tolkien’s books will eventually have to stand on their own (like they did before the movies) and I wonder when the Cancel Mob will get around to trying to destroy it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahah that indeed happens in the third movie. Like you, I’m glad she still gets to have her epic moment but her portrayal isn’t what I would have hoped for.

      I don’t think it’ll go through some form of cancel-culture burning. Most of the hate is directed at Prime’s Ring of Power and what they’re doing with Tolkien’s mythology. The books remain loved by those who explore them and I’m sure there will be countless more Middle-earth-related adaptations to come out that will continue to pique the curiosity of new bloods, and countless more reprints with different covers too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Andy Serkis should have been granted an award for his performance as Gollum, and I often wonder how the character would have turned out without his masterful portrayal: sadly, the Academy Awards don’t contemplate a prize for the kind of work Serkis did with Gollum, and I keep hoping that someday there will be one, because he deserves it.
    The battle at Helm’s Deep is indeed one of the most awesome cinematic performances ever filmed, and I remember learning, in the DVD extras, that it took a very long time to come out as Jackson wanted, but that time and the efforts of the crew paid off handsomely. The scene of Gandalf’s arrival with Eomer’s Rohirrims might be wildy impossible (that steep incline could not be traveled on horseback!) but that’s one of the moments in which one can turn off the logical part of one’s brain and simply enjoy that “hell, yeah!” sequence… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, what a phenomenal performance he’s given us! While the Academy Awards continue to show its flaws and relevance, I’m glad we fans can preach about his character’s wonderful existence.
      Absolutely! I’m beyond impressed by the effort and energy put into developing that battle and the final result is quite fantastic! Gandalf’s arrival with the much-needed help was also quite the hell-yeh moment indeed! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s been a while since I watched the movies so it’s been nice getting to see them a bit through your eyes. I completely agree with you about Andy Serkis, both in his contributions to the CGI through the motion capture and through his vocalization of the character. He also did an incredible job narrating a recent release of the audiobooks. I’d previously thought Rob Inglis was the perfect narrator of the series, and I still love his reading, but Andy Serkis does a phenomenal job and may have become my preferred narrator.

    Such a fantastic translation of the books into movie form. Not perfect, but so well done. Probably my favorite adaptation of any book to movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love what he achieved with Gollum and I am glad that he gave us a performance to remember. I’ve heard great things about his audiobook adaptation and will surely give those a try in the future. I’ve only ever tried the BBC audiobook of the first book in this trilogy and The Hobbit though. Those were very unique and interesting listening experiences.


  4. I understand the motivations behind all of the changes Peter Jackson made to The Two Towers, like the idea how nobody is completely immune to temptation (Faramir) or bringing the elves to Helms Deep (the movies didn’t have enough time to show the war in the north), but I fully understand why a lot of people who read the books don’t like those changes. Personally they don’t bother me. There are changes in Return of the King that do bother me though.

    While I acknowledge that Fellowship of the Ring is overall the better movie, I actually prefer The Two Towers out of the three.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I read The Lord of the Rings trilogy my senior year in high and then I re-read it a couple of years ago (46 years later, ha ha). I saw all of the movies in the theater at least twice each. I think The Ex and I saw The Fellowship of the Ring four times in the theater. I don’t even know how many times I’ve watched it on television and on DVD. I think The Two Towers is my favorite of the LotR movies. I never have had the want to watch The Hobbit movies. The 1977 The Hobbit animated film is wonderful. Have you seen it? 🌄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad to learn how passionate you were back then about the books and movies! I’m surely going to find myself rereading the books and rewatching the movies for the rest of my life too. The Fellowship of the Ring is my favourite movie of the trilogy but The Two Towers is probably my favourite of the books (even if they all got 5 stars from me hahah). I haven’t tried the animated movie but I’m adding it to my watchlist for sure now! Thanks for passing by, La La! 😀


    1. Hahah, thanks! I’m a fanboy for sure, more so about the books, but will still cherish the movies for what they achieve. I totally acknowledge how difficult it must be to adapt these stories in the first place and to try and please an ever larger audience consisting not only of bookworms/Tolkien-readers.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great review Lashaan! I completely agree with you about Theoden and Eowyn’s characters in the movie. I also loved all the scenes with the Ents in the book and I thought it was a shame they kept most of it out in the movies, even though I completely understand their choice ahah! The battle at Elm’s Deep is probably my favourite part of the movie, it really is so epic!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Juliette! I’m glad we’re on the same page with those two characters! I also loved the Ents in the book, which many disliked in general, but… then again… there’s nothing in the books that I disliked anyway hahahah And yes! Peter Jackson really nailed it for the big battles in these movies! 😀 Thanks for reading!


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