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Review: Troy

May 29, 2004 at 05:08 PM

Homer's story of Achilles and the Trojan War, the Iliad, is known throughout the world, but movies about the tale have thus far only been of the television variety. Wolfgang Petersen's Troy attempts to be an epic in the Gladiator mold but in the end comes up short. Poor casting and a slow start doom the movie. It recovers slightly as the film goes along, but can never quite overcome it's beginnings. It's probably not worth your eight dollars unless you're a huge Brad Pitt fan, and you might want to avoid it altogether if you have a good knowledge of Ancient Greece. Troy is a bland retelling of an epic story.

The legend says that the war began because of Agamemnon's wife Helen running off with Paris, a prince of Troy. Helen's face is said to have launched a thousand ships, but model/actress Diane Kruger has a tough time living up to that. The role was definitely a tough one to cast, but I believe it could've been a little better. Couple this with the woeful casting of Orlando Bloom as Paris and a whole portion of the movie becomes unwatchable. Bloom delivers an all-time classic bad line when he says to Helen, "I can hunt rabbit and deer! I can feed us!" Paris is portrayed by both Homer and the movie as a nancy and a pretty boy, but Bloom's acting makes you really root against the Trojans. Fortunately, Helen becomes an almost forgotten character about an hour into this too long movie.

Rating: 2.5/5

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The main focus of the movie is the story of Achilles. Brad Pitt does his best to portray this legendary character, but doesn't quite live up to it. Pitt is an excellent actor, but it may have been better to cast a relative unknown. He's just too recognizable. Most of the scenes featuring Achilles are actually bearable though, despite his almost dorky fighting style. He has a little jump stab move that is pretty freaking lame.

Another saving grace is Eric Bana as Hector. Excellent job developing the character as a heroic leader as well as loving father and husband. One of the few characters in the movie that I felt was properly cast, acted, and written. He stands in stark contrast to Bloom's Paris.

Overall the movie wasn't too bad if you managed to stay awake through the first hour. If they had avoided a few atrocious lines and done a better job telling the relationship between Helen and Paris, it could have been a good movie. If you've somehow been under a rock the last 3,000 years and have never heard the story, the movie does a decent job recreating the epic story without becoming an epic itself. Go watch the movie, then do yourself a favor and read the Iliad and the Odyssey.

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