I started writing a list of all the things that annoyed me in the Two Towers. There are so many, I have to hide that behind a lj-cut.
The cringing scenes :
- the worst thing is obviously Faramir. I loved the work on Boromir in the first movie. Why treat the brother like this ? I admired him so much in the book. Now all his nobility is gone. Why is he such an idiot ? What's the point ? This is not Faramir, the scholar prince we love, the one who's not seduced by the ring. It's a new totally different character who behaves even worse than Boromir. Hey, peter jackson, at that point you might as well make up your own names for your invented characters.
Why such a change ? I'm afraid it's only so Aragorn appears more heroic and kingly. So there's only one human-that's-not-gonna-get-killed that we're supposed to like. OK. We get it. Everybody loves Aragorn already, I mean, I melt at the guy's feet, did they really need to do that ? Make sure no other human is interesting and likeable ? Morons.
The awful scene when Faramir takes the hobbits to Osgiliath for no reason. Let me sum it up. Frodo goes to a wall in ruins, almost gives the ring to a Nazgûl, and upon seeing THAT, Faramir "understands" Frodo and is suddenly convinced that he is just the right person to take the ring to Mordor, and it will be better than giving the ring to Denethor ? WTF ? Does anybody see any logic in that ? I sure don't.
I was looking forward to the scene where Sam is an idiot and reveals about the ring. No hint of that. Instead, Frodo and Sam openly talk about the ring in front of Faramir and all the rangers of Ithilien like it's no big deal. Could Peter Jackson show some credibility and decency sometimes ? No.
- Aragorn : who on earth is ever going to believe even for a second that he's dead ? Not even people who haven't read the books, they will think "pfff yeah he's one of the major characters, no way he dies so early, plus they just did that to the wizard guy too..." That's stupid, cheap and cheesy (I should copy&paste that sentence already. I might have to use it a lot).
- the Ents : so they decide not to attack Isengard, then change their minds in two seconds. Huh ? Isn't that, maybe, THE OPPOSITE of how Ents behave ? They just look big and stupid. And Treebeard telling Merry and Pippin to go home ? Whatever. At that point...
- the Elves at Helm's Deep : WRONG ! Wrong in so many ways ! WRONG ! A second Last Alliance ? Please... They should have shown Lorien and the Lonely Mountain attacked : that would have been a better way to show all the "free peoples" of Middle Earths are concerned. Plus the elves seem useless, from what we see, would the battle have been different without them ? No. Thanks for coming.
- Theoden : there's something wrong with him. He's shallow, he doesn't believe in his people, he takes the wrong decisions... That's not the Theoden Merry grows to love.
- all the Arwen kissing. I imagine my elves to be more... I don't know, untouchable ? I would admit they can have sex but I just don't want to see it, OK ? She's an elf. I don't want to see a close up shot of her boobs. Cheap.
- the run-to-the-bomb olympic uruk-hai : did anybody else sing the them of Chariots of fire in his head ?
- Gandalf's rebirth : too explicit. Same thing for Theoden's "possession" and "exorcism".
- Legolas surfing down the stairs on a shield. Yeah, why not directly cast Jackie Chan if that's the kind of show they wanted? After all he's as elfic as the guy who plays Haldir. Haldir. Worst casting ever.
- the winged balrog : ah, the everlasting controversy. I don't think they have wings. I don't think they can fly. I know there are arguments for both sides. I liked that Jackson kept the ambiguity on that in the Moria scenes, maybe the balrog had wings, maybe not, you couldn't really tell, and I thought it was a nice touch. Now obviously he has chosen his side. (I'm just thinking, isn't it kinda hard to wield the Whip of Flame with two giant wings ?)
- Frodo drawing a sword on Sam : ??????? just so wrong.
- Maybe I dreamt that one, I'll have to make sure when I see it again : when the orcs want to eat Merry and Pippin, one (Grishnakh ?) says something like "Looks like meat is back on the menu". Menu ? MENU ? YEAH CAUSE I BET ORCS GO TO RESTAURANTS ALL THE TIME IN MIDDLE EARTH YEAH YEAH THANK YOU PETER JACKSON YOU ARE SO CLEVER. Sure there must be a menu for the orcs in Barad-Dûr and Isengard. Such loooovely places.
- Elrond's attitude : so Elrond is a controlling, selfish father ? That's the son of Elwing and Eärendil, one of the greatest elves, the Peredhil full of wisdom, who lived in Middle Earth for more than six thousand years ? I don't think so. And are we supposed to think Elrond hates Aragorn ? It's just silly.
- Arwen : lying to Elrond, pretending she'll go to Valinor... I understand it's supposed to be tragic ? Doesn't work for me.
- I hated the effects when Frodo falls into the Dead Marshes. Cheap.
- Galadriel's speech : wtf ? Why do we need to see her ? Does PJ think we would forget her if she wasn't in the number two ? Or does he think it's nice to have her speak at the beginning of the first one, the middle of the second one, the end of the third ? Or is he just trying to justify the Elves turning up at Helm's Deep ? Are we supposed to believe she and Elrond have a telepathic conversation ? In any case : useless.
- the warg attack : they're so cheap and ugly. Is Peter Jackson capable of good taste sometimes ? I think we can say NO. Tolkien was so eloquent in describing them... Another impressive waste of time and money.
- All the little kids ? Are we supposed to be moved by that ? to sympathize more ? Not really Tolkien style. I can't believe how much time PJ wasted with stupid shots to show how scared the Rohirrim are, when there's so many things missing that he could have kept instead. Yes ok they are sad and dirty and there are not enough men WE GET IT MOVE ON.
- the stupid inappropriate Gimli jokes. one in the movie = okay. one every ten minutes = not okay
- Sam's speech. good vs. evil... too much Trying-to-Please-the-post-9/11-American-A
- Aragorn and the "you have a good blade" kid. Beyond cheesy and unneeded. I'm so pissed off they named him Haleth, like the warrior woman who guarded the Crossings of Teiglin in the First Age. Oh, don't steal names from the Silmarillion in vain, Peter Jackson, I already hate you enough.
The things missing, that PJ could have included but instead wasted time with so many pointless scenes :
- Where are Erkenbrand and the men of Westfold? Halbarad and the Dunedain ?
- WHERE IS ANDURIL ? Hello, shouldn't the sword be reforged by now ? Aragorn lacks something in the fights, his sword is supposed to be like a flame. But yeah, if you're too busy tossing dwarves, why bother having a nice sword, you gotta have your priorities.
- The Huorns of Fangorn : no victory in Helm's Deep without them. Oh, but I forgot, we don't care about accuracy or plausibility, do we ? Sure, a few Rohirrim are enough to finish thousands of orcs. Whatever.
- I missed Gimli and Eomer fighting in the caves
- there should have been a view of the rainbow curtain at Henneth Annûn
- ent draughts, entwives etc...
- the Voice of Saruman scene, the palantir... Maybe it'll be in the DVD's edition ?
The few good things :
- Gollum : his inner struggle is well shown. I love the sad and funny at the same time moment in the Forbidden Pool.
- the army of elves. I wish we saw them longer.
- Legolas jumping on the horse
- the fell beast looked nice.
- seeing the simbelmynë
- the Osgiliath set. It does look good, even though the scene is useless.
- the storming of Isengard was cool. I loved when the burning Ent bends and puts his head in the water
- Gollum's line "stupid fat hobbitt"
- Arwen at Aragorn's grave
+ the Rohirrim charging
God I have to think so hard to find good moments. Maybe I'll enjoy it more on a second viewing.
Where's the epic spirit in this movie ? I felt cheated.
I hated how it seems that PJ thinks Tolkien's story is not enough, and feels the need to insert his own stupid "dramatic" little issues and turns of events. Like : Oh no, Aragorn's dead. Oh, no he's not ! Oh no, the Ents won't attack Isengard. Oh, no they will ! Oh no, Arwen's going. Oh, she's not going ! Oh, an ugly elf ! Oh no, he dies ! ENOUGH ! ENOUGH WITH THE STUPIDITY !
Conclusion = I'm disappointed.
I remember how overwhelmed and happy and crying I was after seeing the Fellowship... I won't be seeing that one as often that's for sure. It left me bitter. Well, I still have the books. And I've always been more a Sil fan anyway.