Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen
Written by:David Benioff
Starring: Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Brian Cox, Brendan Gleeson, Peter O’Toole, Sean Bean, Saffron Burrows, Rose Byrne, Julie Christie
Released: May 13, 2004
Grade: B+

It’s one of the year’s biggest blockbusters with a budget to match.  On the whole, I can recommend Troy as a film to see.  It’s in no way spectacular flick but there is enough to keep you mildly entertained.  In a way, I’m somewhat disappointed by my own response.  I was all geared up to either praise the film with joyous glee or trash the film with a wave of expletives.  To sit on the fence is a hollow feeling.

But that’s the way it is.  If you can remember back to high school you may already know the story and how it unfolds.  The womaniser Paris (Bloom) and the warrior Hector (Bana) are the two princes of Troy.  Their father and king is Priam (O’Toole), a powerful man who commands a great army to keep the city well guarded.

Unfortunately, Troy is about to endure an attack of monumental proportions.  On a recent visit to Greece, Paris fell in love with the wife of Menelaus (Gleeson) and brought her back across the sea with him.  The ruler of Greece, Agamemnon (Cox), has always wanted to conquer Troy and Paris’s betrayal of Menelaus’s serves as the perfect excuse to do so.  Over a thousand boats will carry his army across to Troy but there is one warrior pivotal to his plight.  Achilles (Pitt) is the best combatant Greece has ever seen but he answers to no man and is impossible to control.  Agamemnon knows he is both the key to victory and the key to defeat.

At a lengthy 162 minutes, there’s certainly a lot to see and talk about.  So to keep things short and sweet, I thought I’d explain why I’m sitting on the fence.  From there, I’ll leave it up to you to find which side you fit on…

7 Reasons To See Troy

  • Peter O’Toole.  At 82 years young, this 7 time Academy Award nominee gives the film’s best acting performance and who knows, this may be the time he finally wins the coveted Oscar.

  • Orlando Bloom.  Not in it as much as I expected and he hasn’t impressed me much in the past but his performance here surpasses Brad Pitt and Eric Bana.

  • Rose Byrne.  A great Australian actress with her first major Hollywood role.  She’ll go far and if don’t know her already, rent some of her past films.  Not in Troy as much as I would like though.

  • Special Effects.  I looked very hard but they seemed pretty real to me.  Bravo.

  • Director Wolfgang Petersen.  You have no idea how hard it is to make a film of this magnitude and the his control of it all keeps the story flowing with few inconsistencies.

  • Battle Scenes.  Well shot if you ask me.  Achilles and Hector’s showdown was the pick of the bunch.

  • Grey Area.   There’s a pretty obvious bad guy but as for the rest of the characters, it’s sometimes hard to discern who we should be cheering for with emphasis on Achilles.


7 Reasons Not To See Troy (Lame Joke: "the Achilles’ heel so to speak")

  • Brad Pitt.  He has the physique but not the acting talent.  That constant expression where he squints his eyes and looks angry on the inside didn’t help matters either.

  • Eric Bana.  Some are talking his performance up but I can’t understand why.  His accent was most annoying.

  • Julie Christie.  One of the greatest actresses of all time gets one scene in the entire film (as Achilles’ mother).  What a waste of talent and it was an ordinary scene at that.

  • Facial Close Ups.  Way too many of them.  The battle scenes were continually interrupted by showing close ups of the stunned gallery (like Peter O’Toole).

  • Mythological References.  I tired of all the talk about immortality and such.  I find it very unlikely that people spoke as such and I could see the screenwriters using it to add zeal to the story.  Didn’t work.

  • Very heavy.  I know it is a serious story but the filmmakers have taken it a little too seriously.  After all, it is a tale which has been considerably embellished over time.  There are just too many long passionate speeches.

  • Emotion.  Where was it?  When key characters fell in battle, I was unmoved.  I remember feeling much more during the big finale to Gladiator (a film which will draw many references from others).

HTML clipboard