Movie Review: Troy

Troy seems like your typical, epic fantasy movie. More or less. It’s almost three hours long, focused on the stories of the Iliad and the Odyssey. There’s battles, a love interest, and a story that set the tone for many fantasy novels and movies. It’s a star-studded cast: Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, Eric Bana, and Diane Kruger being the leading four. I didn’t expect a whole lot going into it, just a decent story, great battles, and some traditional, Brad Pitt sarcasm.

What I got was actually better than anything I’d expected. The story was exceptional, which makes sense as it was based on a classic. The battle scenes and everything else about the graphics/film blew me away, not because they were anything special, but because they really felt like part of the story. One of the things I always admired about Lord of the Rings was how the battles meant something, every time, and it wasn’t just war for the sake of war.

And then, of course, there’s Brad Pitt, whose performance as Achilles was above and beyond amazing, the main reason I’ll go back and watch the movie multiple times.

Anyways…

Good

  • Battle Scenes

As I touched on above, the battle scenes have two very important qualities. First of all, they serve a purpose in the broad scheme of the movie. There are two real “battles” between opposing armies, one near the beginning and another in the middle. There are smaller scuffles amongst these battles, and a 1-versus-1 showdown towards the climax of the movie. Every sword swing and seemingly-unimportant death serve a purpose along the way.

Plus, the visuals are stunning, especially in the first part of this movie. If you love action films, or you love movies with more plot content, this will interest you either way and entertain you to no end.

  • Brad Pitt everything

Brad Pitt’s performance in this movie can’t be overstated. He’s the main character, a sun-tanned uber-focused warrior, who fights for himself and not for any specific king. Besides saving a woman who was captured by the soldiers he fights with, to showing respect for the dead body of an enemy, Brad Pitt’s Achilles makes it incredibly clear that war is not so black and white, and sometimes the good guys on both sides can die.

  • Dialogue/memorable lines

There were some really good pieces of dialogue with the characters. Really interesting conversations, especially with Achilles and those on that side of the war. It’s hard, at times, to judge which side you’re supposed to be rooting for. And that is the point of it, after all, as seems to be the centerpiece of Homer’s original works. Even as long ago as those books were written, it was clear that war was not for the faint of heart, and that who you fought for often had nothing to do with what you viewed as right and wrong, but instead where your family was from, as in the case of Achilles.

Bad

  • Source Accuracy

I tried to do a little bit of research and understand how close to source material the movie stays. I assume it takes quite a few liberties, although I can’t say for sure how many or to what degree it changes the story. If you know more about this, I’d appreciate an explanation. If historical accuracy (or literary accuracy, in this case) is one of your biggest concerns when watching a film, this one might be a bit of a letdown. Or it could be great all together.

  • Over-doing of Achille’s desires

I took this note early in the movie, as Achilles mentions numerous times in the span of thirty minutes how he wants his name to live on throughout history. That’s the only reason he fights the war, in the film, is so that people will remember him forever. It’s a central theme, but extremely overdone towards the beginning. Now, after about the 50 minute mark, there isn’t more than two or three references to this theme, which saves the movie from becoming overly-centered on it’s key idea.

Overall

I wasn’t sure where to rate this. I liked it better than Lord of the Rings, although going back and watching those again might change my mind. This movie just seemed deep enough to rewatch multiple times and extract something new each time. It was entertaining, thought-provoking, and left you with that “Wow” sense at the end. So…

9.3/10

Highest score I’ve given a movie on this site.