In Book II, Kerr accomplishes some major rearranging, cutting and consolidation. Peter Jackson’s creepy creature moments are trimmed down to something more closely resembling Tolkien’s portrayals. Gandalf’s flashback to Isengard is masterful. The alterations to Aragorn’s character are completely persuasive, and the deletion of the Arwen subplot is welcome. The Lothlorien scenes with Galadriel and Frodo have a stronger sense of eerie grace and supernatural wisdom. In all, the changes make this episode flow at a stirring pace.
There were a few moments where the continuity and flow were a bit choppy, more so than in Book I. Particularly at the conclusion. But at the same time I agree with most of the editor’s choices and feel he did the best he could with the material that was available.
By streamlining and consolidating, Kerr has created a Book II edit that’s even more emotionally resonant than the original. Tolkien tapped into deep cultural archetypes, and that comes through more powerfully in this version. 10/10.
Review by GeneralNerd — September 3, 2010 @ 1:42 am
I liked this part a bit more than part 1, and I really liked the changes you made to it.
Again, improved pacing. The battles don’t take as long (when you’ve included any of the battle at all) so they slow the movie down less and everything moves at a good speed.
I liked that Legolas is a bit less of a showoff.
The beginning I liked. It made for a nice little prologue explaining what Gandalf was up to while we were following Frodo.
Again, a bit too short. 89 minutes is feature length, but for something like this it feels like there should be more.
Cutting out Galadriel getting into Frodo’s head when they first meet was, in my opinion, a mistake. Cutting it out when they enter the forest was a good idea, though.
The conflict between Boromir and Aragorn should also have been left in. I know you were trying to get Aragorn closer to his book version, but frankly his book version was boring. The only thing he ever gets conflicted about in the book is which way to go after Gandalf falls, and Frodo resolves that for him by running away. Frankly, I always preferred the movie’s portrayal of a man unsure about his destiny. It makes him embracing his kingship at the end all the better.
But like I said I liked this a bit more than the first part, if only because there was more of it. I give it 9/10