Sun Ra - Column for 12/30

Dwarf Tossing

Went to see The Two Towers recently. It was, of course, excellent. All the critics thought so, all my friends thought so, and so did I.

However, when a movie (or book, or whatever media) is good enough, when you find yourself critically discussing it you tend to not focus on the good parts, but rather the things you would have liked to have been done differently. So, given the preceeding disclaimer, here are a couple of things about The Two Towers movie that bugged me.

1) Gimli is just comic relief. Having fun at the expense of the brash dwarf is fine. But, although he is one of the heroes and therefore kicks more ass than any of the non-heroes, he seems to be solely comic relief. There's no counterbalancing character aspect to make Gimli a serious character, which is really what he should be. Humor is fine, but they've gone far too far in the goofy direction and made no efforts in any other direction. They should have taken out the belching, beer-spilling scenes that add nothing, and put in a scene where Gimli gets hit by the cave troll's club and shakes it off because he's just that tough. Gimli deserves respect.

2) The horses were invulnerable. Helm's Deep was a fine battle scene, particularly the ladders and other wall-scaling devices, and the explosion. But both the heroes riding out and particularly Eomer's cavalry coming to the rescue had invulnerable horses. When the riders charged down the (ridiculously steep) hill, they were charging into set pikes. Sure, the light then subsequently distracted the orcs - a fantastic idea - but the pikes never dropped!

Some of the horses needed to get hurt. When fighting cavalry, infantry take out the horses. Sure, they have shock and are when unanticipated are tough to deal with, but there were thousands of orcs with weapons. Some of those horsemen should have gone down.

Those are the two major gripes I have. There are other issues, such as Rohan appearing to be an incredibly inhospitable place by virtue of being filmed where it was, but that doesn't really distract. Also, were the numbers they used for their armies correct? Because if Rohan's army is a few thousand riders, and it's one of two major human powers, Middle-Earth is a pretty damn empty place. Which is certainly a possibility, but I didn't recall Rohan being so, well, small (in terms of population).

Okay, New Year's is tomorrow. Have a great New Year's Eve, and I'll have more Cant for you next year!

- Sun Ra

Columns by Sun Ra