Thursday Night Movie Club
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Release Date: May 14, 2004

Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Julian Glover
Brian Cox
Nathan Jones
Adoni Maropis
Jacob Smith
Brad Pitt
John Shrapnel
Brendan Gleeson
Diane Kruger
Eric Bana
Orlando Bloom
Siri Svegler
Lucie Barat
Ken Bones
Sean Bean
Manuel Cauchi
Agamemnon's Officer
Messenger Boy
Helen's Handmaiden
Old Spartan Fisherman
Troy movie poster
Photo of the Trojan Horse from TroyWhat a movie! The spate of recent blockbusters continues. Troy is a great looking movie with great visual effects. The problem is it is tedious!

Troy is another retelling of the classic Homer poem "The Iliad". This version is dominated by visual effects. The screen story is not very good. There is absolutely no mention of "The War of the Gods" that is such a large part of the poem. The acting is poor with a few exceptions, Sean Bean and Brian Cox who are always great! But they are sub-characters in this tale which is dominated by Achilles, Hector, Paris and Helen. None of the actors who play these four parts is very good here.

At its center, Troy is the story of the greed of King Agamemnon, who is fixed on conquering Troy, the city that controls all of the trade enterprise in the Mediterranean. He needs only an excuse to go to war with the Trojans. The opportunity is handed to him on the proverbial"silver platter".

Photo of  Diane Kruger as Helen of TroyHelen, of Troy, is restless in her prearranged marriage to Menelaus. He is much older than she and he does not satisfy her growing needs. Into Helen's life comes the impetuous Paris. He is a weakling that seizes the moment to spread his wings, to disastrous results. Paris convinces Helen to go back to Troy with him, where she can be free at last.

Menelaus is furious over the absence of his bride. He convinces his brother, Agamemnon, to attack Troy to get her back. Agamemnon sees this as his one chance to attack and conquer Troy. He bids all those loyal to him to come to his aid to seek vengeance. The result: "the face that launched a thousand ships".

The result is a grand spectacle. But as "spectacle" is concerned, Troy doesn't hold a candle to Stanley Kubrick's "Spartacus". Everything about this movie comes off as standard, which is surprising coming from Wolfgang Petersen, director of "Das Boat".

Photo of Eric Bana as Hector and Brad Pitt as AchillesI think the main problem here is the main actors, namely Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom and Diane Kruger. They are all very bad actors. Since they are so bad, the end result is "who cares". These four actors cannot carry the conflicts arisen here. As I previously mentioned, only Sean Bean and Brian Cox really shine here, but they are sub-characters to the main story. As such, they are not given much screen time. Brian Cox shines as the maniacal, obsessed Agamemnon. Sean Bean is wonderful as the logical, plotting Ulysses. Even the usually great Brendan Gleeson seems to simply go through the motions. I would have thought Petersen would have brought out more in his cast. Unfortunately, the script comes first and it appears the script writers never read the original mythological story.

Like a whole slew of previous summer block-busters, Troy is worth the look, but don't pay full-price for a ticket. Unfortunately, its not worth it!

Photo of Brian Cox as AgamemnonPhoto of the Greek fleet journeying to Troy