Stellar performances, breathtaking scenery, and stunning visual effects made The Lord of the Rings one of the greatest cinematic franchises of all-time. But very few trilogies can claim to have an equally impressive beginning, middle, and end. And here’s a look at the top ten reasons why AMC can’t get enough of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers…
10. John Rhys-Davies on Double Duty
Three hours of bloodshed is exhausting, especially for Ryhs-Davis who comes to the rescue in two roles, not one. As Ent elder Treebeard, his gravitas makes for moments of peaceful reflection while his comical Dwarf King Gimli steals scenes… just don’t tell the elf.
9. The Nazgûl a.k.a. The Dark Riders
How do you make the former bearers of the Nine Rings even more terrifying than the last time? Put them on winged creatures that fly. That’s how.
8. The Love Triangle
Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and Arwen (Liv Tyler) are in love, but since he’s a mortal and she’s not, there are issues — among them Eowyn (Miranda Otto) with whom Aragorn has an instant attraction. As complicated interspecies romances go, this one is a winner.
7. Gandalf 2.0
Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) met his doom in the first flick so the sequel introduced Gandalf the White. His powers are greater, plus he looks even better on a white steed.
6. Legolas’s Acrobatics
Just when you thought Legolas’s physical feats couldn’t get more impressive, he surprises you again. That backswing flip to mount his horse from the front? Priceless. The slide down the castle steps on an shield? Just as sweet.
5. The Uruk-kai Army
When Saruman summons thousands of souped-up Orc-folk to war, your spine tingles because you know these killers with a taste for “man-flesh” are headed for the humans… just like you.
4. Nature’s Revenge
Trees that talk? Cool. Trees that walk? Even cooler. Trees that battle? Coolest. Watching a wooded army march into Isengard, squash Orcs and unleash the dam that destroys Saruman’s cesspool is a great reminder, you don’t mess with Mother Nature.
3. The Bromance of Frodo and Sam
Getting by with help from friends is a recurring theme in LOTR and no bond is as tried and true as the one between Frodo and Sam. The testing of that bond makes for the movie’s most touching moments like when a momentarily-evil Frodo draws his sword on Sam. “Don’t you remember your Sam?” Sam implores. Lump in throat.
2. The Battle of Helms Deep
300 vs. 10,000? Not great odds, but makes for one of the most epic battles on the big-screen. Yet the visual effects are nothing compared to the emotional roller-coaster ride that comes with the arrival of the Elves (good news) and the Uruk-kai bringing ladders (not so good news).
1. An Animated Performance
Originally, Andy Serkis auditioned for the voice of GGI Gollum, but eventually Peter Jackson let him play the role. Masked in a motion-capture suit, Serkis’s range of emotions is unforgettable and make Gollum the movie’s most precious commodity.