Review: Troy

Filed under: Reviews

There is certainly nothing small or subtle about Wolfgang Peterson's (Das Boot, The Perfect Storm) latest contribution to the realm of Hollywood blockbusters. Troy is an adaptation of Homer's "The Iliad" that is truly grandiose. Sets appear massive (and not overtly CGI) and performances to match make Troy a truly entertaining, though predictable, epic.

Orlando Bloom (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) and Eric Bana (The Hulk) play sibling princes of Troy (Paris and Hector, respectively) who are on the verge of making peace with one of their city's (and father's) nemesis', Menelaus (played by Braveheart's Brendan Gleeson). However, when Paris decides to steal Menelaus' wife, Helen (Diane Krueger), Troy is propelled into a legendary war against the united Greek armies led by Menelaus and his vindictive brother Agamemnon (Brian Cox). A wildcard in this battle is the mythical Greek warrior Achilles (played by classic heartthrob Brad Pitt), who despises Agamemnon, but fights alongside the Greeks with his own army of fighters.

Considering Troy appears to be so based on action, it has surprisingly deep character development. I would argue the standout performance here is Eric Bana, with the characters of pretty-boys Bloom and Pitt appearing cartoon-like in his shadow. Krueger is also enjoyable to watch as Helen, and I feel that casting a lesser known actor as a character who is supposed to be the most beautiful girl in the world was a good idea by the filmmakers.

Troy is certainly not subtle, as it boldly declares again and again the mythical importance of the story it is telling. It is repeatedly stated that those who participate in this battle will have their names remembered for thousands of years. The mythology in the film is certainly overt, but not so much that you need a deep understanding of Homer's work in order to appreciate the film. However, I must caution that once I arrived home after the film, I immediately got out my girlfriend's copy of "The Iliad" to see what the film had left out.

The battle scenes in Troy are nothing spectacular and offer nothing really new to the genre of epic films. Fast cutting, sword sound effects, and lots of blood permeate. However, considering the battle scenes are rather generic, they are mercifully short. Peterson should be applauded for making good utilization of the editing room in this respect.

Troy is extremely entertaining and is filled with action and characters that you actually care about. It is a beautiful film to watch, and as I mentioned earlier, its grandiosity looks very convincing. There are no moments of CGI that are so obvious that they yank you out of your involvement with the film (unless, of course, you are looking for it). This film will not disappoint very many who venture out to spend their money on it.

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