A Film Review By Jason L. King
|Rating:Rated R for graphic violence and some sexuality/nudity.
Starring:Eric Bana, Brad Pitt,Orlando Bloom, Brian Cox, Peter O’Toole
Directed By:Wolfgang Petersen
The big star big budget blockbuster is a great way to kick off the summer season. Every year summer has tuned to high budget, high action films to bring in the box office bank. Normally the only thing that is bigger than the money the films draw is the combined egos of the actors, directors and producers involved. Names like Bruckheimer and Bay, Will Smith, Keanu Reeves, Hugh Jackman, and more pop into people’s heads as they go to the box offices. The films hardly ever pan out in the end. They get regarded as popcorn flicks with hardly any real substance. Troy is one of these flicks.
Based on the classic epic“ The Iliad” by Homer, Troy tells the story of Paris of Sparta (Orlando Bloom) who falls in love with a beautiful girl, Helen of Troy. Helen returns to Sparta with Paris against the King of Troy’s wishes. Paris refuses to let Helen go and so a war breaks out. All of the Great Warriors of the lands are called out, including the mighty Achilles (Brad Pitt) and the Great Warrior Hector of Troy. The story then carries on to tell of the battles of Troy and fall of Troy through the famous story of the Trojan Horse, which as I look back on it I still find the story incredibly stupid (not the Iliad, but the Trojan Horse part). But oh well, what do I know?
I originally saw Troy believe it or not the weekend it opened. Try and try as I may, I just couldn’t crank out a review for Troy that was to my liking. Flaunting a great cast of young and old and a great story (Homer’s the Iliad), this film had a lot of things going for it. But in the end, I was sad to say the film fell short. Where did it fall short you might ask? Well together lets count the ways.
The main problem I had with the film is the whole mythology aspect of the film. Whether one has read works such as the Iliad or not, the fact of the matter is that Mythology was important to the ancient Greeks. This should have been an important aspect of the film, however they choose to ignore the existence of the Gods, which downplays Brad Pitt’s Character a great deal. Few understand why Achilles is such a great warrior, and they only briefly acknowledge that he is the Son of a God who is nearly immortal except for one vulnerable point (his Achilles tendon- which is where the term got its name). They also down play the somewhat Homoerotic relationship that exists between Achilles and his cousin Protocolus, because even though this is the new millennium and Gay pride is the thing right now, we would never suggest that our main manly hero is *gasp * Gay! Who would think of a thing! Instead we give Achilles a slave girl to fall in love with. Pitt’s character in general is regarded as an uncontrollable rebel and never really given any back-story at all.
The role of Paris, played by Orlando Bloom is also wasted in the film, and this is because plain and simple Bloom can’t act. Ladies this may come as a shock to you, but I just don’t see the attraction. The man has slim to none when it comes to acting ability and while he isn’t hard on the eyes, I can’t really say that he is that great either. His role in Troy is pretty much to walk around acting like Will Turner from Pirates of the Caribbean who is playing Dress up like the ancient Greeks. His character is what sticks out in this film not because of his performance, but instead his lack there of. He spouts off dialogue that makes you cringe and is basically there to walk around shirtless or half clothed to keep the ladies there for the film’s 2 hour and 45 minute runtime.
The films biggest drawback was it’s writing, although it’s acting didn’t help. The script was poorly written, things were left out, things were added in and parts were nothing more than complete cheese. As a viewer I cringed at the cheesy dialogue the film touted, and every time the film started to turn around another poorly written sequence popped up. In one of the supposedly “intense scenes” Pitt Refers to Agamemnon (played by Brian Cox) as a “Sack of Wine.” As cheesy as that sounds that is an actual line from the Iliad, the problem is that it is delivered in such a manner that makes you laugh at this scene that should be far more intense.
In the end, you can’t say Troy was all that bad. Truth is it wasn’t. Adapting such a thing is hard to do, and they did a somewhat decent job of bringing to life ancient Greece on the big screen. Eric Bana, star of last year’s “The Hulk” does an excellent job in the Role of Hector, and Peter O’Toole gives a great performance as the aging King, Priam. Problem is there are too many strikes against Troy to claim it a must see film. It’s boiled down to a 2 and a half hour chance for ladies to go watch Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, Eric Bana and The Mike (well maybe not Mike) walk around shirtless while boys get to watch two computer generated armies face off against each other again. We’ve all seen it 3 years in a row with Lord Of The Rings, and Troy brought nothing new to the table. Plain and simple, Troy may be worth a view, but don’t rush out of your way to see this flick.