Plot: An adaptation of Homer’s great epic, the film follows the assault on Troy by the united Greek forces and chronicles the fates of the men involved.
Director – Wolfgang Petersen
Released: May 2004
With the success of Gladiator only a few years prior, studios were willing to take a risk with the sword and sandals action genre once more and Troy was one of the films that came out during that time and with an estimated budget of $175 million and a star-studded cast, a lot was expected of Petersen’s epic based on Homer’s Illiad, however, the great picture that Troy could have been never materialised and despite all the spectacle you can help feeling slightly disappointed.
The problems with the film are obvious from the very beginning. The use of Brad Pitt as Achilles looks to be based purely on his looks rather than suitability for the role, with the writing not taking into account his acting ability and effectively relegating him to nothing more than a toned body and pretty face. Kruger as Helen is also left criminally underwritten, once again feeling like a pretty piece of window dressing for a character that’s central to the plot.
Bloom and Bana do slightly better in terms of characterisation, with both characters given more screen time to properly explore their motivations and make you care for them, but it’s the supporting cast that does all the heavy lifting and help to drive the plot along, Brian Cox as Agamemnon helps to provide a more realistic reason for the war between two nations than one mans wife leaving with another man. Peter O’Toole, Brendan Gleeson, Sean Bean and a young Rose Byrne also do fine work with what they are given, though it isn’t much.
With the budget as high as it is, you would expect production values to be good and what is on offer is hugely impressive, fully bringing the semi-mystical city of Troy to life and beautifully showcasing the size of the armies.
The fight sequences remind me of Lord of the Rings in terms of scale and gust, with the fight between Hector and Achilles a personal favourite despite you knowing the outcome. I’d say on the film’s highlights is just how superbly choreographed the film is from start to finish.
Sure Troy has its problems, and it doesn’t keep you glued to the screen to the same level as Gladiator or Kingdom of Heaven which came out a year later, But there is enough good about the film that will keep you entertained for a couple of hours.
If you liked – 10,000 BC, 300, Alexzander