A tale of Two Towers

Well, yesterday I saw the second film in the Lord of The Rings series and it was, if anything, better than the first; quite an achievement. Making the middle film in any trilogy must be hard, and especially following the spectacular success of the first.

At a time when Hollywood is turning out an even higher percentage of complete rubbish than usual (as amply demonstrated by the trailers which preceded the Two Towers last night) it is encouraging that a few movies are still being made with love, care and very great skill.

If the Return of The King turns out to be as good as the first two, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t, then I think one could make a good argument for this being the greatest cinematic achievement of all time. It certainly puts to shame all of the recent special-effects-only ‘blockbusters’ (Titanic & the Star Wars sequels, for example), and while other films have had more subtlety or art, I can’t think of anything that has combined them with a production of this scale.

The best way to appreciate the scale, by the way, is by watching some of the commentaries and documentaries on the extended-edition DVD of the first film, which in turn is probably the best use of that medium that I’ve yet come across.

Reading the above, by the way, might make you think that I’m something of a Tolkien fanatic. I’m not, but I’m in danger of becoming a Peter Jackson fanatic. Thank God it didn’t go to Disney or Spielberg.

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser