January 9, 2003
I've no complaints about Gollum and the rest of the CGI cast in this movie, nor do I have complaints about the battle scenes. I do question the extent of the variation from the book. The first movie wandered from the book, but in a way that seemed sensible, coherent, and with a wider audience in mind. But I don't understand this movie's wanderings.
1. What's the point of making Farimir into a jerk?
2. What's the point of Elvish reinforcements in Rohan?
3. What's the point of going to Osgiliath?
4. What's the point of an added battle scene (Warg attack), to top off the count to 4 when other scenes might have been crafted from the book (the too truncated Ents story line comes to mind). Did anyone notice that the Warg scene was an Indiana Jones tribute? Nothing wrong with I-jones but not what I came to see folks.
5. The added Arwen stuff could have been compressed to 30 seconds, and we would have gotten the point:He's torn. Look, what should Aragorn be more worried about right now -- being a King or getting married?
6. And instead of repititive shots of cowering Rohan women and children, how about just a shorter movie.
Here are some scenes from the book, that would have worked, and been understandable to a wider audience, that might have been kept.
(1) Exchanges between Saruman and Mordor orcs over Merry and Pippen.
(2) Aragorn's speech on the wall at Helm's Deep, and Orcs response (why did they leave this out why why why...)
(3) Voice of Saruman scene (maybe next movie, but then what will they have to cut?).
But I'm not a movie maker, just a fan, so maybe I'm wrong, and there were good reasons for the choices made (let's hope they were honestly made, and not a result of dunderheaded bullying from Jackson's corporate masters).
But for next time, I vote keep as much as the original stuff as you sensibly can in, and keep the new stuff to a minimum!