Recommended for: Lord of the Rings fans
Rating: PG-13 (for epic battle sequences and some scary images)
The Fellowship has broken, but the quest to destroy the One Ring continues. Frodo and Sam must entrust their lives to Gollum if they are to find their way into Mordor. As Saruman's army approaches, the surviving members of the Fellowship, along with people and creatures from Middle-Earth, prepare for battle. The War of the Ring has begun.
This is the second part in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, although they took parts from the book of The Two Towers and put it in all three movies. While I think that the other two movies are better, it is still a great movie and is worth watching.
The more I watch these movies, the more I can tell what is done by special effects. It is not as obvious as some movies but if you watch carefully enough, you can tell. Another thing is that Gimli's height changes. I have mostly noticed this when they're at Helm's Deep. Other that that, I think that they did the special effects very well, especially since they had three-feet tall characters played by regular sized people interacting with normal sized characters. While I have begun to notice things, I still think that the special effects were done very well. I also think that the acting was done very well.
This movie follows three story lines. The main one is of Frodo and Sam continuing their journey to Mordor. One problem in this plot comes from changing something from the book. They have Gollum suggest to lead them somewhere in which they will probably die and then have him reform for a little while but still continue to lead them there. In the book he never was truly better. The story also follows Merry and Pippin, who were captured by orcs. There was an extended scene in which Merry and Pippin realize that some water is making them grow. They then fight over trying to be taller. It was one of my favorite extended scenes, along with a scene where you learn about the Entwives. There is one part of their story that was changed that I don't like, but it gave Merry the opportunity to give some good lines. The other story line is about what happens to Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli. They help a king and eventually fight in a battle, which was extended. They also had an extended scene where you find out who won Legolas and Gimli's contest. There are some parts with the fighting that are a little graphic and disgusting which I think are a little bit worse than the first movie but I could be wrong.
There are a lot of different places in this movie, from marshes and forests to a city that has been under siege and a fortress. The forest is different from ordinary forests. The trees are bigger, the marsh is also gross and a little creepy, but they both fit this fantasy world. There is a lot of countryside which is mostly just grass. There is also a city which doesn't seem very big that is on a hill. There is also Helm's Deep, the fortress. Since it's a fantasy story, you can do anything and I think that all of the settings fit the movie and that they are a good portrayal of the book. I also liked that they added Frodo and Sam coming across a statue that was in the book.
There are a couple of new characters that you get to know in this part. The most entertaining one is Gollum/Smeagol, he was in the first one but barely and you never got to really see him. Although he is treacherous, and a little hard to look at at first he is very entertaining. His arguments with himself are also very funny, though they are also sad because the Ring destroyed him to what he is. You get to see Theoden king of Rohan and his niece Eowyn and nephew Eomer. At first Theoden's mind is poisoned by Grima Wormtongue. Theoden is a little bit arrogant about their fortress but he is a good king. Eowyn wants to help fight for her country, but is trusted to help lead the people of Rohan, and she does after arguing. Then you get to see Faramir for the first time. He is portrayed as meaner than he was in the book and is made unlikeable, which is why I marked it 4.5 instead of 5. Faramir is the younger brother of Boromir and is a better person. In the extended edition you get to see Denethor, Faramir's father, for the first time. If it is your first time seeing him, you definitely won't like him, and if you've already seen him, then you won't like him any better.
I enjoyed this movie, especially the new parts and I would definitely recommend it.