Today I’m reviewing the adaptation of The Two Towers from book to movie. I’m coming from the perspective of someone who saw the movie first. This review contains spoilers for the book and movie.
I like the continued use of dialogue from the book. In my post about the things I don’t like about The Two Towers book, I said I don’t like how the split storylines are one after the other. I like the movie’s way of intertwining them and going back and forth. It keeps me more engaged, and it makes the timeline easier to follow.
I really like that the movie added more female character screen time. Arwen gets some scenes, and Eowyn is actively participating in the story. Tolkien’s stories are focused heavily on male characters, and I like that the movie brings in the female characters more.
Two other characters I like seeing in this movie are Gimli and Treebeard. I like the humor Gimli brings to the movie. It lightens the mood, especially during battles. One of my favorite things from the book is the death counts Gimli and Legolas keep during battles. I love that they’re included in the movie. Treebeard is a fun character, and he’s really brought to life by his idiosyncrasies. John Rhys-Davies does a fantastic job of bringing both Gimli and Treebeard to life, and both of those characters add a lot to the story.
While those are characters I like in the movie, there are other characters I dislike. I don’t like movie Frodo at all. He’s really whiny, and he wouldn’t get anywhere without Sam’s help. I also don’t like Faromir because he holds Frodo and Sam hostage and wants to take the Ring just like Boromir. He goes much further with this in the movie than he does in the book, and it makes me rank him right next to his brother, whom I also don’t like.
The Ents seem really ignorant in the movie whereas they don’t in the book. Treebeard doesn’t mistake Merry and Pippin for little orcs in the book, and I don’t see why he needs to do that in the movie. It makes him seem less intelligent. I also don’t like that Treebeard seems surprised when he sees Saruman’s destruction of the forest. In the book, he knows about it before he goes to Isengard.
I don’t like the added tension between some of the characters. In the book, there is never tension between Frodo and Sam. The movie adds tension between them, and I feel like it negatively affects my perception of their friendship. Sam is loyal to Frodo, and the conflict between them undermines this loyalty. Since Sam’s loyalty is one of my favorite things about The Lord of the Rings, I’m sad it’s negatively affected by the added tension. I also don’t like the added tension between Aragorn and Arwen. I think it’s out of character for Aragorn to ask Arwen to travel to the Gray Havens, and it makes it seem like he can be pushed around by Elrond.
There are a few added scenes I don’t like. The orc spies that attack the people of Rohan on their way to Helm’s Deep don’t interest me. I really don’t like that Aragorn falls off a cliff during this confrontation. I don’t like the addition of the elf archers during the Battle of Helm’s Deep because they seemingly come out of nowhere, and they aren’t in the book. The added conflict at Osgiliath bored me, as it took screen time away from the main storyline.
These are my thoughts on the adaptation of The Two Towers from book to movie. What do you think of it? Do you agree or disagree with my points? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.