Top positive review
6 of 6 people found this helpful
on 19 November 2005
Troy, like a lot of historical movies with many action sequences, rewards a second viewing. We all know Wolfgang Petersen, like many movie-makers before him, took many liberties with Homer's Iliad but I am happy for myths like this to succumb to the hollywood treatment.
Interestingly, Petersen opts to give us the siege of Troy through Achilles' eyes rather than the classical Helen/Paris scenario, as it opens up the prospects for this big action movie. Achilles was the Rambo of the ancient world, but while Rambo goes on for ever, Achilles, alas, proved to be just mortal in the end. If you view Achilles in that light, you feel less inclined to criticise Pitt for his performance. He was a fighting machine who disliked the squabbling Greeks as much as he did the Trojans, but in the end he had to settle for the lesser of two evils in deciding where his loyalties lay. The pace of the movie, which sustains two romances, gives Pitt little opportunity to do much else other than fight, whilst Eric Bana as Hector at least has more to philosophise over in the shape of his brother Paris' problems, as well as defending Troy itself.
Petersen cleverly presents the opulence and decadence of Troy as opposed to the spartan Greeks and their ambitious plans to topple it. Helen of Troy was no more than a pawn, an excuse to invade Troy, and though Bloom works hard as the cowardly womaniser Paris, he comes over as the spoilt useless younger brother of the more commanding Hector. Diane Kruger, too, has little to do except look gorgeous, and fails to grasp that the invasion is only superficially about herself.
The beautiful photography and endless beauty of the calm Mediterranean contrasts sharply with the terrible unfolding violence, and we are treated to endless shots of the body beautiful, Mr Pitt himself who disrobes more regularly than the ladies. Not that I'm complaining!
The finale, when the invaders leave the safety of the Trojan horse and the city falls, is magnificently filmed, and one is left wondering: even if this never happened, it surely is one of the most entertaining stories ever told. It might not be perfect, perhaps the characters could have been fleshed out a little more, but one can't sit in a movie all day long, and in the end film-makers have to learn the art of compression probably more than any other media.