Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Rewind: Troy -- The 3 Degrees of Swords, Sandals...and Braveheart? (Review)

...when 300 dropped a couple of months ago and all of the hype was in full swing, I couldn't help but recall similar circumstances that took place in the lead up to the release of another film based on similar themes from the same region, Troy...as it turns out when the latter was released I covered it for a review but it never went into press...that's what blogs are for, son...it went something like this...

...(in 2004) Troy was Hollywood's latest attempt at circling back to the good old day with the sword-n-sandal epic that starred Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom (pictured above with Diane Kruger) and Peter O'Toole is based on Homer's heavily layered epic poem The Iliad. The film picks up at the end of the prologue leading to a 10-year war between the Achaeans (Greeks) and the Trojans-sparked by a beauty contest between the goddesses Aphrodite, Hera and Athena. The mortal judge, Paris (Bloom), son of Priam (O'Toole) picks Athena, who promises him the renown beauty Helen (Kruger). As the tale holds, Helen's already married to the Greek warrior King Menelaus (Brendan Gleeson) and after realizing the goddesses must be crazy, Paris and Helen make a run for the border...

...In an effort to salvage his connubial honor, the cuckolded chieftain declares a full-on war -- after soliciting the help of his brother, the Mycenaean King Agamemnon Brian Cox, who sees the opportunity as a convenient means to attack the impregnable walls of the Trojan's enclave. The primary character in the piece, however, is Achilles (Pitt), the greatest warrior of his day and although he can kill you three times before you hit the ground, he hates to follow orders.

... Wolfgang Petersen's, Troy is a sweeping attempt to bring one of the oldest tales around to the big screen by ham-handedly copping ideas from Braveheart, Lord of the Rings and, most prolifically, Gladiator - mercifully, the Mt. Olympus back story is nixed altogether. While the viewer gets to see the origin of popular idioms like beware of Greeks bearing gifts, Achilles' heel, etc., the best thing Troy offers is the juxtaposition of the faces of memorable characters from other flicks sashaying around the coast of Malta in body armor: see Tyler Durden versus the Incredible Hulk with Legolas and Boromir hamming it up on the sidelines. You'll trip watching, Braveheart's uncle Argyle and best friend Hamish (pictured above) go over the top as Greek heavies too. Pitt goes on autopilot with Legends of the Fall-filler-for-the-females as Eric Bana (looking like a poor man's Tom Cruise) does a shite's site better as Hector- who'd've thunk it? O'Toole brings a little depth to a film otherwise overrun with broad-stroked performances - Priam's scene in Achilles' tent is the tightest in the picture. If you check the DVD, for the CGI battle scenes or the gratuitous ass-shots, bring a bucket of coffee because clocking in at 165 minutes, Troy is a cinematic odyssey in it's own right. The three degrees of separation game makes it funny to watch now if anything else...

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Blogger Photo Blogger said...

without a doubt, a completly ridiculous movie, which makes it perfect to watch while folding laundry, because if you have to fold laundry, you might as well watch aerobicized, airbrushed mega-hunks running in the desert while you do it. That's my philosophy, anyway. Hubba Hubba.

5:58 AM, July 15, 2007  

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