CORPORATE LINE: Throughout time, men have waged war. Some for power, some for glory, some for honor – and some for love.
In ancient Greece, the passion of two of literature’s most notorious lovers, Paris, Prince of Troy (ORLANDO BLOOM) and Helen (DIANE KRUGER), Queen of Sparta, ignites a war that will devastate a civilization. When Paris spirits Helen away from her husband, King Menelaus (BRENDAN GLEESON), it is an insult that cannot be suffered. Familial pride dictates that an affront to Menelaus is an affront to his brother Agamemnon (BRIAN COX), powerful King of the Mycenaeans, who soon unites all the massive tribes of Greece to steal Helen back from Troy in defense of his brother’s honor.
In truth, Agamemnon’s pursuit of honor is corrupted by his overwhelming greed – he needs to conquer Troy to seize control of the Aegean, thus ensuring the supremacy of his already vast empire. The walled city, under the leadership of King Priam (PETER O’TOOLE) and defended by mighty Prince Hector (ERIC BANA), is a citadel that no army has ever been able to breach. One man alone stands as the key to victory or defeat over Troy – Achilles (BRAD PITT), believed to be the greatest warrior alive.
Arrogant, rebellious and seemingly invincible, Achilles has allegiance to nothing and no one, save his own glory. It is his insatiable hunger for eternal renown that leads him to attack the gates of Troy under Agamemnon’s banner – but it will be love that ultimately decides his fate.
Two worlds will go to war for honor and power. Thousands will fall in pursuit of glory. And for love, a nation will burn to the ground.
Eric Bana is the biggest surprise of the film. We only knew him from the Hulk, however he really turns in a fantastic performance as Prince Hector. Brad Pitt isn’t intolerable as Achilles although there are some moments in the film that are quite ridiculous (we’ll get to that later).
The epic nature isn’t the same as say Lord of the Rings—although they try. Troy is near three hours yet thankfully it doesn’t seem that long.
The battle scenes are timid—even with blood squirting about. It’s not near as exciting as Braveheart yet its as improbable. Are we supposed to believe that with every film in which the featured character goes into battle they ride through waves of men slashing and hacking and are never hit? Achilles slices through a hundred men like butter. No one comes from behind? It’s ridiculous. Achilles may have been a great Greek warrior, but sometimes we have to wonder when these stories go from fact to fiction. I love battles as much as the next guy, but let’s make it near some sense of reality.
It appears the makers of Troy weren’t as concerned with sticking closer to the text of Homer’s Iliad. Achilles came to Troy leading 50 ships of the Myrmidons. In the film, Troy, there are hundreds of ships and the battle lasts days, not years. So don’t base your Greek history on the film.
Troy has no commentary track which is a rarity with nearly all DVD releases. Unbelievable. There are a few extras that include Ruins to Reality which shows the construction of the sets while An Effects Odyssey goes over the CG used in creating the army scenes. There is really nothing worth watchingnot even once.
The liberties that are taken in Troy are aggravating. Troy is based on mythology—yes myth—however can’t Hollywood at least attempt to stay faithful to something? The Iliad is one of the greatest books of all time—you’d think that would be enough to base a movie around it. Instead the filmmakers have to take another ten steps to far in order to create even more drama. It’s a good thing Hollywood isn’t writing our history books or we’d all be extinct.
+ Charlie Craine