The Two Towers as the casual favorite

For discussion of the upcoming films based on The Hobbit and related material, as well as previous films based on Tolkien's work
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kzer_za
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The Two Towers as the casual favorite

Post by kzer_za »

In my experience talking with non-readers (also including people who maybe read the books once a long time ago) in person and to a lesser degree what I've seen online, The Two Towers is the most common favorite of the trilogy. I've had conversations where people were shocked when I said Two Towers wasn't the best! Among more serious book fans opinions differ, but TTT seems to overall be the least popular. FotR is the closest to the book (but also the simplest most linear story to adapt, to be fair) and the most consistent. RotK is the big payoff of the whole thing.

I like TTT a lot but it does have middle-chapter syndrome a bit and some of the highlights of the book get moved into RotK, though mostly out of cinematic necessity I think. As for book alterations, there are various things that bug me though no dealbreakers (Faramir's men beating Gollum comes closest though, maybe the worst scene in the trilogy). But I don't think the movie quite transcends them as a whole in the way RotK does for me, even though RotK arguably changes more. That said, I still rate The Two Towers highly as a film and (mostly) as an adaptation.

Does your perception of TTT's general popularity match mine, and why do you think it enjoys this status with the general public? Helms Deep does still hold up as one of the best cinematic battles ever. I guess the combination of that with Ents, Gollum, and a longer Gandalf vs. Balrog is a real crowd-pleaser. A lot of the general public also prefers that it ends quickly after Helms Deep unlike RotK I think.
Last edited by kzer_za on Mon Jan 24, 2022 8:41 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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kzer_za
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Re: The Two Towers as the casual favorite

Post by kzer_za »

By the way, I don't mean "casual" as derogatory, in fact I think non-book fans can have some of the most interesting perspectives on how much the movies succeed and the themes they get across. Knowledge of and attachment to the books can predispose us to evaluate parts of the films either more positively or more negatively.
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Túrin Turambar
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Re: The Two Towers as the casual favorite

Post by Túrin Turambar »

It is a slower film with more character scenes than FotR and RotK, and follows a fairly-conventional structure leading up to a long and visually-impressive action sequence. Fans of the book can find the pace slow, the character moments inconsistent and the action trite (these are my criticisms of the film) but I can appreciate that they are less-likely to bother casual viewers.
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Dave_LF
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Re: The Two Towers as the casual favorite

Post by Dave_LF »

Towers is the most human of the three (both literally and figuratively), and the least cosmic. Those add up to accessible. It's the one I'll reach for if I'm just in the mood for a fun movie, as opposed to specifically for Tolkien.
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