One Slight argument could be raised about a minor detail, Achilles relationship to Patroclus is not known for sure, where as here they are cousins. As for some other bigger issues...King Agamemnon wasn't killed in Troy but returned to Greece, Paris did actually die in Troy during the war and Helen of Troy was suppose to have been taken back to Sparta. So a little artistic license used it seems but not too bad, why it was done that way I don't know.
As for the film...well it looks gorgeous, the location work really sets this up beautifully as everything looks a soft sandy golden colour against the piercing blue Aegean Sea although not actually filmed against the Aegean Sea. The Walls of Troy are powerful and impressive looking as the Greeks attack them throughout, the battles are huge with vast channels of warriors facing off against the city walls and each other, some excellent battle sequences I assure you. The scope of the battles is probably the best aspect of the film really, a lot of historical films have good battles in them these days but you really get a sense of size here plus its all in broad daylight so its gotta look sharp.
The visuals, the costumes (LOVE that dark coloured Myrmidon armour, very striking, very cool), the sets and the battles can't be faulted but unfortunately one thing lets all this down badly and that's the casting. Pretty much every member of the cast is a bad choice and doesn't fit the bill at all, harsh but true. Brian Cox as Agamemnon is far too much of a villain in the film and hams it up atrociously...you'd think he was in the next ''Die Hard' flick! Gleeson looks the part but his Irishness keeps coming through, he's in the wrong time period and army. Pitt simply can't act too well I'm afraid, always his major downfall, plus he looks too buff and pretty for the part really which takes away any sense of realism. Yep Pitt looks too good, too super heroic for his own good.
Bana really puts in a poor show here for some reason, I just didn't feel the power he should have, the emotion just wasn't there plus his Aussie accent kept creeping in. The same for Bean with his Yorkshire accent which isn't covered at all!! so you have King Odysseus with a Sheffield South Yorkshire accent for Christ's sake! Then you have the very weak talented Bloom who somehow manages to keep getting cast in big films, yes he looks perfect for this role but he simply can't handle the weight of this type of epic film. Lastly we have the mighty Peter O' Toole who again like other cast members just doesn't seem to have the power or weight needed for the role, he came across as tired and almost reluctant to embrace the role, a stunning actor for sure but he didn't seem right here.
Its a damn fine film to take on Homers ancient poem but I just wish Petersen had used a cast that wasn't simply chosen for their big name status at the time. I would of thought he had more sense than that and as a result he lets down this film which could of been truly epic in every aspect. Its definitely a visually spectacular war movie that's for sure, very pretty looking ancient battle porn, but methinks that's all it really is.
Troy plays fast and loose with history and Greek Mythology, but it ends up being a pretty entertaining movie, as a result. And really, isn't that the point?
Yes, Brad Pitt as Achilles and Orlando Bloom as Paris are direct and blatant ploys to get butts in theater seats, but they're certainly not bad. The hodgepodge of accents can be a distraction, but the cast is likable (Sean Bean as Odysseus was a favorite of mine) and there are equal parts drama and epic battles to keep a wide audience satisfied. Lots of blood, noble, lusty heroes, beautiful women, and a pretty spectacular take on the ultimate fall of Troy.
This movie doesn't quite reach the heights of the best movies in the genre, but it mostly achieves what it sets out to do: put a fresh take on one of the oldest and most famous stories of war.
Okay, and I really liked the CGI (and that is a rare comment from me indeed) and the fight scene between Hector and Achilles was AWESOME. Great choreography.
4 stars is a toughie rating for me. I might change it later upon review.
As the story opens, 3,500 years ago, civilisations are being built, wars fought, alliances forged, across the cradle of the West. Legendary Greek warrior Achilles (Brad Pitt) fights with, but not for King Agamemnon's (Brian Cox) army. Half God, Achilles is faster, stronger, and more deadly than any man, as he shows defeating the giant Boagrius (Nathan Jones) in single combat, thereby binding Thessaly into Agammnon's growing nation. This establishes one wing of Homer's complex plot: Both Achilles and Agamemnon have their eye on immortality, of the kind that will see their names on our lips thousands of years hence.
As King of Troy Priam (Peter O'Toole) seems to have begun a negotiated peace with King Menelaus of Sparta (Brendan Gleeson) and perhaps larger Greece, his son Prince Paris (Orlando Bloom) has become infatuated with Menelaus's the beautiful wife Helen (Diane Kruger). News that Trojan Paris has stolen away Spartan Helen unites all the Greek armies under Mycenaen Agamemnon. Thus, with a dispute between two men, begins the conflict of nations: The Trojan War. A total of 50,000 soldiers set sail to Troy in a thousand ships, and soon the walls of Troy, invincible to all previous invading armies will test this new alliance.
The battle begins with Achilles and his Myrmidons forging a beachhead, and through discipline and skill taking the beach and the temple of Apollo almost by singlehandedly. In a memorable scene, Achilles looses his spear several hundred meters, driving it through the head of Trojan warrior Tecton. Priam's brave and level headed son Prince Hector (Eric Bana) leads the force to hold the Greeks on their beach head and enters the temple. Here he meets Achilles, who he lets him go free. Achilles is not wont to kill a fellow warrior, and yet knows and says that he will: But another day, perhaps when their tragedy can play to a better audience.
Tensions build between Agamemnon and Achilles. As Agamemnon takes tribute from his fellow kinds for his "victory", Achilles' is disdainful, and, Agamemnon takes the young priestess Briseis (Rose Byrne) from Achilles he curses Agamemnon: Achilles is not owned by Agamemnon but is his own man, and he and his men remain out of the next battle.
The massed armies meet before the gates of Troy. Agamemnon demands the return of Helen to his brother and submission of Troy to the Greek empire. Rebuffed by Hector, Paris offers to fight Menelaus in single combat. But Paris, foolish romantic boy who stole Helen away is not the man his brother is. Defeated, he crawls back to his brother's feet. Hector kills Menelaus. The die is cast: Battle ensues
Without the Myrmidons and Achilles tactical genius, the Greeks are beaten badly: fighting beneath the walls of Troy, they fall in their thousands to massed Trojan archers, with all the advantages of height and distance. Odysseus (Sean Bean) advises Agamemnon- fall back: you won't have an army if you don't fall back.
With Menelaus gone, the original purpose of the war is gone. Still Achilles will not rejoin the army, despite Odysseus' reasoned argument. Reunited with Briseis, Achilles engages her with a deeper intellect and reflective nature than she thought possible. Achilles' sense of individualistic timelessness - that all will begin and all will end, but that how we perform our hour on this stage is everything sees Briseis fall in love with him and Achilles determines to return home.
All council Greek retreat.
In the Trojan camp, religious leaders, who know nothing of battle, but everything of court politics argue for immediate attack. Hector now shows a break with human history: he is not impelled by the day's victory, nor by gods and omens, but councels that Troy not repeat the Greek's mistake of underestimating their enemy: they have a proven strategy, the Greeks have failed to respond - perhaps, as is the case, they might now return home in their hubris. Priam listens to the priests omens over his son's reason, and the Trojan army prepare to attack, far from their defensible walls, driven to drive the Greeks into the sea.
The Trojans attack with fire: tremendous straw balls burning like Napalm. The Apollonian force and Trojan army descend on the Greeks, their backs to the sea.
But then Achilles appears, Mrymidon's with him: the Greeks rally tremendously, Hector easily kills this ill-coordinated and weak "Achilles" in battle - only to find it is Achilles young cousin and lover Patroclus (Garrett Hedlund), tired of being out of the fight and dreaming of glory. The battle ends: Hector knows that defeat has been snatched from jaws of victory and prepares his wife (Saffron Burrows) to escape should the Greeks now win the war.
Vengence turns Achilles mind from love to blood: He challenges Hector, and they fight to the death, a fabulous pitched battle of two men, ending in Achilles dragging the dead Hector's around Troy behind his chariot.
Priam pleads for his son's body, and Hector is returned for a ceremonial funeral lasting 12-days of truce. At the end of this time, the Greeks appear to have left: a large Wooden Horse (Odysseus's idea) their parting gift to Troy.
The wooden horse is taken into the city, and the Greek soldiers inside open the gates of Troy to the Greek army... all is lost, all is won. Brave and wise Hector and his kind peaceful father Priam are dead. Menelaus, Patrcoclus, Achilles, all dead. Romantic Paris escapes to live in the wilds with Helen. The Greek victors begin their Odyssey.
Brad Pitt is a good choice for the role of Achilles, the ultimate and seemingly indestructable warrior aiding King Aggamemnon (Brian Cox) in the sacking of Troy ruled by King Priam (Peter O'Toole). Priam's son Paris (Orlando Bloom) has brought on the bloodthirsty Aggamemnon by engaging in an illicit affair with Helen of Sparta (Diane Kruger), the wife of Menelaous (Brendan Gleeson), brother of Aggamenmon. Paris' own brother Hector (Eric Bana), the leader of the Trojan army has no choice but to defend his brother and city, against his better judgement.
Director Wolfgang Petersen manages the adaptation brilliantly. The battle scenes are as good as any of the genre and the actors excel in their roles. Particularly Bana, who brings a great balance of strength yet vulnerability as Hector. Greek tragedy at it's epic best.
A very enjoyable film, with some great battle scenes.