Austin Burke’s review published on Letterboxd:
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This was a franchise I just had to revisit before finalizing my list of favorites. It’s good that I did because this film entered my top 30 list after watching. It was right on the edge, and I wanted to do it, but I needed some confirmation on a few things before I did. This trilogy (somehow) keeps getting better upon every single watch, and this middle chapter takes the franchise in a more action-centric direction. The battles are big, bold, and full of rich cinematography. While it doesn’t have the impact of learning about these characters for the first time; it continues their stories and allows the audience to learn so much more about them. Frodo is slowly becoming less trusting towards those who deserve his trust, Gandalf returns as a born-again entity, and Aragorn is slowly coming to terms with the fact that he is meant for something more.
It features direction that is just as slick as Fellowship, and it is close to the epic level of what Return of the King brings us. The banter between Legolas and Gimli has to be one of the best parts of this trilogy. It is fantastic in this film specifically, and it’s just another example of how these relationships are building. The new characters introduced all feel fleshed out, the “side-quests” are not distracting, and the main storylines bring so much to the story. The addition of Gollum is what puts this over the first. Serkis owns this role, and he plays a terrifying character here. This is why he is the Godfather of motion capture. The Two Towers is an incredible second chapter, and this franchise just isn’t fair. The fact that the effects hold up to this day is monumental. While Peter Jackson hasn’t done much as of late, and that’s a shame, he managed to deliver on three of the greatest films ever made. He has to have something else left in the tank. How did he even accomplish this?
🔜The Dark Knight♻️