Movie Review: Troy

Posted by Arlo on Jun 21, 2004 under Movie Reviews

Troy Movie PosterTroy. Hmmm. Troy was a long movie. Normally, I enjoy movies that teeter on the edge of 3 hours if only because they make me feel as though I’ve got my money’s worth. Perhaps my mistake with Troy was in going to see a show that started at 10pm. Long before the end of the movie, I was already thinking about my nice, comfortable bed at home.

I’ve never read Homer’s Illiad, nor have I studied ancient Greek history enough to know the true story of Troy. Come to think of it, I’ve never even seen a movie about it, either. I guess everything I know about Helen, Troy, and the Trojan Horse, I’ve learned through pop cultural references. Add to that, now, Brad Pitt’s sculpted interpretation of Achilles, I suppose that I’m now as well-informed as 90% of America.

Troy wasn’t a bad movie – in fact, it was actually pretty good. I thought it odd to focus the story of the fall of a city on a single character’s vanity, but I suppose this story has already been told so many ways, the scriptwriter was probably just looking for a new angle. I can respect that, but if you’re going to focus a movie on a single character, I think there’s a strong argument to make the audience sympathetic to that personality. Brad Pitt got top billing, but it was Eric Bana and the others behind the Wall of Troy that I found myself rooting for.

The effects in Troy were impressive. Massive armies clashing, gruesome deathblows, sweeping camera angles of an imagined city… Unlike Van Helsing, I never caught myself thinking, “Oh, that looks SO fake!” But I heard from a friend that the city of Troy had a population of only 3000, the walls were only 6 feet high, and the war lasted ten years. I suppose that if you simply much have an army siege a castle, post Lord of the Rings, you damn well better have an epic amount of carnage. History be damned, Homeric movies sell tickets.

Trivial thought: Notice that there is only one female speaking role for the Greeks vs. countless supporting females for the Trojans – no wonder they don’t come off as sympathetic!
What did I find worthwhile about the movie? The (mostly concealed) special effects – the best SFX are the ones you didn’t realize were SFX! Most of the non-Greek characters. Plus the eventual sacking of Troy was surprisingly affecting.
Would I recommend the movie? Yeah, I ‘spose.
Will I buy it on DVD? No.

Overall Summer Movie Ranking
Van Helsing