Rings 'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers' is a massive film. Sometimes that adjective is used for small comedies because of their opening weekends. Here I use the word ‘massive’ to simply describe the sheer scale of the thing. I saw it on a relatively small screen and it felt like IMAX. It’s a long time since a film has been released which is so wide screen, every corner filled with moments and action.

It’s certainly one of the best sequels ever made (whether you think it’s the best depends on whether Peter Jackson is the new George Lucas, and if you like The Godfather films). There is quotable dialogue in a Whedonesque sense (the scene at the keep when Aragorn and Gimli are talking over their attack strategy in particular). Not have read the book (on purpose would you believe) I don’t know how much of this is down to Tolkein (and I’d love it if someone could enlighten me) but it fills the film with the kind of ‘Great Escape’ type moments which will make you want to watch it again and again. Just like ‘The Matrix’ you’ll want to see this thing again as soon as you’ve left the cinema.

Comparing this to ‘Attack of the Clones’, yet again underlines what a hack Lucas is. Random comment, but I thought it important.

Puzzlingly, many reviewers have brought attention to the fact that there are actually four different stories taking place simultaneously and it makes the film ‘bitty’. Yes, you would like the ex-Fellowship to bump into one another now and then to talk about what’s happening to Middle Earth, but their isolation only means the films falls into the same genre as ensemble pictures like ‘Magnolia’, ‘Short Cuts’,’ Timecode’ or ‘Last Night’; there are to main elements seen in those film which appear. Most importantly the idea of seemingly separate storylines happening simultaneously with characters who only meet at random intervals – in ‘Timecode’, it became clear gradually that Salma Hayek was cheating on Jean Tripplethorn with Stephan Scarsguarde who was married to Saffron Burrows – in ‘TTT’ Merry and Pippin bump into Gandalf who then subsequently rides out with Aragorn. Secondly, the entire world of the film (and so the characters) are rocked by the same major incident. In ‘Last Night’, it’s the end of the film via solar flare, in both ‘TimeCode’ and ‘Short Cuts’ we have earthquakes – in ‘TTT’ it’s the battle for Middle Earth seen from numerous perspectives.

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