Review Date: May 13, 2004
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Writer: David Benioff
Producers: Wolfgang Petersen, Diana Rathbun, Colin Wilson
The story of Achilles...the man with the heel. No, wait. This film essentially follows the Greek army back in 1100 B.C., when they wanted to conquer everyone around them. But Troy was hands-off, that is, until the king of Troy's wimpy son went and stole a Greek king's wife right from under his nose. Ela, rhe! That action pissed everyone off and the next thing you know, over 1000 Greek boats are headed to Troy to get the girl back...and to kick ass. Brad Pitt as Achilles, the greatest warrior of his time, also tags along for the ride. Greeks battling it out over a chick ensues (it's like I'm back in high school).
Overall, this film just ran a little too long, a little too redundant and a little too boring for my taste. It's a decent movie, with solid performances from both Brad Pitt and Eric Bana, but I can't say that any specific character intrigued me much, involved me on any type of emotional level and ultimately, had me giving a shit about what happened to them. Pitt's relationship with his Tom Sizemore look-a-like partner in war was probably the best developed relationship in the entire movie...and that's saying a lot. As for Orlando Bloom and his character...wow, I think this guy gets the lifetime achievement award for being the biggest pussy in the world! If this guy had any less balls, he'd be a stay-at-home soccer dad. Jesus Christ...how about giving this dink a little backbone? He looked like he was gonna take a pee in every shot (or was that Peter O'Toole?) I'm supposed to invest myself in this story of epic proportions and it's all being fought out for some prissy kid who doesn't know shit one about honor, love or war? Forget that! I also didn't think the character of his girlfriend, the infamous "Helen" over whom much of the hoopla begins in the first place, was given any personality or life either. She just stood around, looking pretty and pretending to matter. In fact, I think she may just have been the first "trophy wife" in the history of the world. Actually, most of the ladies in the film were about as paper-thin as my penis. Brian Cox's character was decent, but he progressively lost his mind as the film ran along and ultimately lost me too. The same can be said about the film's action sequences, all of which were well executed, but over time, sorta "lost me" with three consecutive years of Orcs charging into monster walls, kind of taking the "fun" out of any other movie that attempts the same.
What do you say, Hollywood...a 2-year moratorium on all flicks featuring armies of thousands charging into other armies of thousands? It's been done to death and it's getting a tad stale at this point. The film didn't entirely lose me though, with Pitt's coolness, his character's solo stance and even the rinky-dink romance between him and the supposed beggar chick, all working to a certain extent. Add that to the umpteen shots of Pitt's naked butt, his bare FIGHT CLUB-esque six-pack and plenty of wardrobe kinkiness featuring the man in black leather skirts (no joke) and you've got yourself a good time for anyone who enjoys Pitt as an actor and as a piece of ham-and-cheese. Some of his dialogue, along with others', felt a tad contrived though, but I guess that comes with the historical territory. The film's final "coup de grace" was fun though, particularly the showdowns between Pitt and anyone in his path, especially Bana (loved that one "jump move" Pitt had and milked). I also enjoyed a few particular scenes like the one in which Peter O'Toole's character asked Pitt for a "favor", but what kind of half-assed warring factions decide to "call it a day" in the afternoon ("I think that's about it for today...") or don't notice a fleet of a thousand ships "hiding" on the side of a beach? I don't know. I also wish they'd cut about half an hour from the film, especially all that stuff about Achilles and his need to have his name "remembered" (we got it the first ten times this was mentioned) and how this "God" or that "God" is going to protect or punish so-and-so. I tuned in to my own God Of I Don't Give A Shit during some of those dragged out scenes.
All that said, I know it might sound like I'm totally bashing the film, but it was decent overall, with undeniably brilliant production and costume design, entertaining action sequences (at least, the first few and the last one), a rousing score, good showings from both Pitt and Bana, and a pat ending. I much preferred the film's original title though: GREEK GUYS IN SHORT SKIRTS. Yassoo!!
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian