Movie Review
Troy poster
By Craig Younkin     Published May 18, 2004
US Release: May 14, 2004

Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen
Starring: Brad Pitt , Eric Bana , Orlando Bloom , Diane Kruger

Running Time: 163 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $133,259,341
Sadly with all its visual ingenuity, this movie lost me whenever the battles ended.
Troy begins in the city of Sparta where the Greeks and the Trojans have just made peace after many years of war. The Spartan King, Menelaus (Brendan Gleeson), has invited the two Trojan princes, Paris (Orlando Bloom) and Hector (Eric Bana), to dine with him to celebrate the reconciliation, not knowing that Paris is actually having an affair with his wife Helen (Diane Kruger). In the morning he finds the Trojans have gone, and they have taken Helen with them.

Menelaus is outraged and heads to his brother Agamemnon (Brian Cox) for aid. Agamemnon, who we see at the opening of the film taking over the city of Thesselly, is a man greatly interested in power. He sees this situation as a perfect springboard to launch an all out war on Troy and take over the greatest city in the world. There?s only one problem: Troy's army is led by the courageous Prince Hector, and thus far they have never let anyone penetrate the walls of Troy.

In order to accomplish this task, Agamemnon will have to turn to his greatest warrior, Achilles (Brad Pitt), for assistance. Achilles doesn?t fight for kings, wealth, or power ? he fights for himself so he can become a legend. Hector is just the opposite ? he fights for his people, for his wife and child, and for his father, King Priam (Peter O'Toole). He also fights for his brother and for his brother's love for Helen, the woman who launched 1000 ships and became the pawn in one of the greatest wars ever created.

Troy is very big in terms of scope: the sweeping shots of swarming armies running head to head for an epic battle or the shot of 1000 ships headed for Troy look astonishing. The battles take place in a bloody spear throwing, sword-clanging fashion, and one pits Brad Pitt against Eric Bana in what is definitely the highlight fight of the film. The set and costume design is also very impressive, but sadly with all its visual ingenuity, this movie lost me whenever the battles ended. The dramatic scenes are less affective than just soap operatic, and are accompanied by some of the most lifeless dialogue I've heard in quite a while.

The characters also get very few opportunities to shine, and by shine, I mean to get us to care for them. Brad Pitt is fearless in the role of Achilles, but he also portrays the character's selfishness, which doesn't make him the most root-able hero; Orlando Bloom comes across as little more than a good-looking wuss. But two actors who do manage to transcend the material are Eric Bana and Peter O'Toole ? both show a compelling amount of dignity and courage that served their characters well.

Troy has moments of visual brilliance but the script is very flat and takes away from the excitement of the battle scenes. There is a good movie somewhere in here, but you just wish that they gave as much effort to the script as they did with the visual execution.
Craig's Grade: C
Craig's Overall Grading: 340 graded movies
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