Friday, July 13, 2007


Troy is a difficult movie to judge. On the one hand, the visual effects are stunning, the stunts and athleticism are incredible, and the sheer scale of the film is spectacular. On the other, some of the acting is not so great, and the story has been changed quite a bit from Homer's The Iliad, to focus more on other characters.

The story begins with a young prince of Troy named Paris, played by Orlando Bloom. Paris falls in love with a woman whom some call the most beautiful woman on earth, Helen of Sparta. Unfortunately, Helen happens to be the wife of a powerful warlord named Menelaus. Helen and Paris escape Sparta together the day after a peace treaty has just been signed between Troy and Sparta. Paris brings Helen back to Troy with him, and they prepare to live happily ever after.

Unfortunately for them, the gods have a different plan. Menelaus, enraged and insulted, turns to his brother, Agamemnon, leader of the largest army in the world. With 1,000 ships and 50,000 men, the Spartans set sail for Troy. Accompanying this force is Achilles, the greatest warrior the world has ever known. He fights, not for honor, not for power, but for glory. Achilles wants his name to be remember throughout history, and with his godlike fighting ability, he should have no trouble doing so. Achilles is portrayed by Brad Pitt, who does an excellent job of getting Achilles' character across. The warrior is egotistical, proud, and he lets his emotions govern his sword.

Protecting Troy is Paris' big brother, Hector. Eric Bana plays Prince Hector, who is honorable and noble. Peter O'Toole is excellent as Priam, father of Hector and Paris, and king of Troy. Helen is played by the smashing Diane Kruger, who has the looks and the acting ability to portray Helen very well. Brenden Gleeson is Menelaus and he is certainly good at yelling and being angry. Brian Cox plays Agamemnon and does a great job yelling and being angry. The part of Paris, the girly lover boy, is perfect for the feminine Orlando Bloom.

Again, the visual effects of Troy are just phenomenal. Realizing that not all of the stunts are blue screened, and not all of the sets are computer generated, is almost unbelievable. A full scale model of the city of Troy, and its gate was actually built. The massive Trojan horse was constructed full scale and rolled through the city. Eric Bana and Brad Pitt did not have stuntmen do their stunts, which is impressive, considering the muscle necessary to perform said stunts. The fighting scenes are magnificent and the editing is very well done.

Pitt does an overall good job as Achilles. Some scenes could have been better, some of the acting wasn't top-notch. However, in other parts of the movie, Achilles is played beautifully. Achilles is a prime example of a human being. He tries to be a glorious hero, someone people will remember. He is not particularly merciful, and he is not perfect. But he is vulnerable and Brad Pitt does a great job depicting this vulnerability.

"Men are haunted by the vastness of eternity. And so we ask ourselves: will our actions echo across the centuries? Will strangers hear our names long after we are gone, and wonder who we were, how bravely we fought, how fiercely we loved?"

This quote just about sums up the purpose of the movie.

Conclusion: See it if you don't mind violence and a few cheesy lines. Achilles' fighting scenes make up for the acting.

Rating: R for graphic violence and some sexuality/nudity

Interesting Trivia:
  • Brad Pitt and Eric Bana made an agreement that they would pay for every hit they accidentally made. The costs were $50 for a lighter blow and $100 for a hard blow. Pitt ended up paying $750 to Bana, who didn't have to pay Pitt anything.
  • A hurricane destroyed much of the Troy set and damaged Brad Pitt's house. Pitt was so tired from the filming the night before he slept through the hurricane.

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