Not enough cross-country. In a nutshell, that's my critique of the newly-released movie version of The Two Towers.
Yes, the film is good, like its predecessor and (presumably) its sequel. Given the limitations of today's technology and the realities of entertainment economics, it's probably the best treatment possible of J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Yes, the evil characters are sub-dimensional in their ugliness. Yes, the eponymous towers aren't the same pair as in the book, and many scenes have been altered for dramatic effect. Yes, the battles are loud and long, stirring and chaotic. Yes, Frodo and Sam (and Gollum) are heart-wrenching as they strive in their quiet smallness to do the impossible.
But the real 2T shortfall is a subtler one: the heroic ultramarathon of Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli has been cut to the point where it seems to be little more than a 10k stroll. Really, now! Where's the feeling of distance, of human (and elven, and dwarven) triumph over pain and exhaustion? Missing --- in contrast to the first movie of the trilogy, which successfully conveyed the immense scale of the lands to be crossed. (see WalkAbout (9 Mar 2002), ...)
Too bad ....