Cast: Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Brian Cox, Sean Bean, Diane Kruger, Rose Byrne, Peter O'Toole, Brendan Gleeson, Saffron Burrows
Director: Wolfgang Peterson
Rated: M moderate violence
Running Time: 163 Minutes
Throughout time, men have waged war. Some for power, some for glory, some for honour - and some for love.
In ancient Greece, the passion of two of literature's most notorious lovers, Paris, Prince of Troy (ORLANDO BLOOM) and Helen (DIANE KRUGER), Queen of Sparta, ignites a war that will devastate a civilization. When Paris spirits Helen away from her husband, King Menelaus (BRENDAN GLEESON), it is an insult that cannot be suffered. Familial pride dictates that an affront to Menelaus is an affront to his brother Agamemnon (BRIAN COX), powerful King of the Mycenaeans, who soon unites all the massive tribes of Greece to steal Helen back from Troy in defence of his brother's honour.
The walled city of Troy, under the leadership of King Priam (PETER O'TOOLE) and defended by mighty Prince Hector (ERIC BANA), is a citadel that no army has ever been able to breach. One man alone stands as the key to victory or defeat over Troy - Achilles (BRAD PITT), believed to be the greatest warrior alive.
Two worlds will go to war for honour and power. Thousands will fall in pursuit of glory. And for love, a nation will burn to the ground.
The movie 'Troy' will surely become one of the standout movies for 2004 not the least for its enormity on so many scales. It combines a great cast with exotic costumes, scenery and some brilliant cinematography. It is a long movie, at 163 minutes, yet this never seems excessive and never tiresome. It was almost a disappointment that it had to finish when it did.
Performances from the actors are almost faultless. Brad Pitt prepared for his role as the arrogant Achilles for months before shooting took place and it shows - bring on those pecs! He certainly met all the requirements for Achilles - good-looking, strong, aloof, and a leader amongst others. Another standout performance comes from Eric Bana, whose accent did unfortunately waver too often, and also a fine performance from Peter O'Toole, whose longevity in the industry shows. Orlando Bloom may well be criticised for his role as Paris as he makes Paris appear wimpish and at times, weak, but that was the character, not Orlando. Rose Byrne proves she can cut it with her performance as Achilles love interest and Hector's cousin, Briseis.
The battle scenes are epic, with the climactic duel between Hector and Achilles the most memorable. The movie does not translate exactly from the book 'The Illiad' by the ancient poet Homer, nor was it meant to. The length of the film meant certain sacrifices and adjustments had to be made, the Trojan horse for example, appears out of sequence from that in the book. This never detracts from the essence of the movie and you wouldn't even have to have studied or read Homer to appreciate the story.
For sheer entertainment, 'Troy' is right up there amongst the best. Sure, there are moments to get picky about and characters who might differ slightly from the book, but these are very minor on the scale of a very major movie. 'Troy' is a must-see movie.
Rating : A