(click here to skip to this movie's
Viewed at Pacific Place
Rated PG-13; running time of 180 minutes
Written by: Frances Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Stephen Sinclair, Peter Jackson
Directed by: Peter Jackson
Cast: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Billy Boyd, Liv Tyler, John Rhys-Davies, Dominic Monaghan, Christopher Lee, Miranda Otto, Brad Dourif, Orlando Bloom
WARNING - SPOILERS BELOW.
When we last left our heroes, they were all facing different challenges. Hobbits Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) had separated from the group and were heading by themselves to Mordor to destroy the ring. Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd) - the other two hobbits - had been kidnapped by a gang of evil Orcs and were trying to stay alive. Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) were in hot pursuit of said Orcs in an attempt to save them and finally, Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen) was viciously fighting the Balrog.
Not much has changed since that time. Gandalf has now reached a higher level of wizard-dom; Aragorn and crew are still tracking Pippin an Merry; and Frodo and Sam have picked up a new traveling partner, Gollum - the very one who had the ring until Bilbo found it.
The search for Merry and Pippin allows Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas to meet up with Gandalf again and leads them to Rohan. Once there, they find out that Saruman (Christopher Lee) has amassed an army of Orcs that is 10,000 strong and plans to attack Helm's Deep - the Keep and safe haven for the people of Rohan. Due to an evil plot orchestrated by Saruman through his minion Wormtongue, all the able bodied men have been banished from Rohan, so it is up to Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas to gather a ragtag group of villagers about 500 strong to secure the Keep and save the populace. 500 against 10,000 is next to impossible, but they must do it. Can they survive the insurmountable odds?
Wow. I say this even though I was not held captive by this story like I was by the first. There were some slow moments and some unnecessary straying from the plot, and I really thought the Orcs were a bit over done, but I was still happy with what I saw on the screen. I say this as someone who has not read the books, so I have no idea if the movie stayed true to the literature.
Once again there are fine performances all around by the main characters. Last time, Sam was my favorite, this time it was all about Legolas, baby. Legolas is just awesome - even when it's obvious that we're watching the CGI Legolas. And MAN, was that Helm's Deep battle something else! I think it lasted about 50 minutes and that alone was worth the price of admission. I'll be honest, suspension of disbelief was required by me on more than one occasion during the battle, but it was still all good.
All and all this is another solid outing by Peter Jackson and the cast.
The first two hours are a tiny bit tedious, but nonetheless this movie is second only to part 1 of the trilogy.
back to top
Copyright Kamal "The Diva" Larsuel-Ulbricht, 2002
Use the feedback form below to send your comments to The