Running Time: 163 minutes
UK Certificate: 15
Country: United States, United States
Women, eh? You do everything for them give them cheap-looking trinkets, whisk them off to your fictional Trojan palace, save them from having to live with a bellowing cornflake-bearded man-beast. And what do you get in return? War, thats what. And war, as we all know, is good for absolutely nothing.
Thats the vague premise behind Troy, the first of this years big bustling epics. Set 3200 years ago, it offers a not-particularly-valuable insight into what happens when a spineless Trojan Prince (Orlando Bloom) nicks another blokes missus. Unsurprisingly – given that the lady in question is Ancient Greeces most cherished hottie Helen (Diane Kruger), the scorned hubby is brawl-loving nutter Menelaus (Brendan Gleeson), and Menelaus brother is warmongering loudmouth Agamemnon (Brian Cox) all Hell breaks loose, and the Greek army hot-foot it to Troy to retrieve their missing piece of totty.
Plotline in place, the film goes on to focus predominantly on a woefully miscast Brad Pitt as Achilles, whos renowned as Greeces greatest ever warrior even if he does have a dodgy heel. He gets drawn into a bout of handbags with Troys other, less wimpy Prince Hector, and you just know theres going to be a good ol fashioned square go before the ridiculously long 160 minutes are up.
Underwhelming is perhaps the best way to describe Troy. Theres no denying that its been impressively put-together, but theres a constant feeling that theres nothing here we havent seen done before and better in a hundred epics to have gone before it. Despite its myriad of action sequences, the whole thing moves along at a snails pace, so loaded is it with fist-bitingly bad dialogue.
It also has to be said that some terrible decisions have been made on the part of the casting department. Pitts a good actor but just too lightweight and pretty to play Achilles, Bana is decent but always looks uncomfortable delivering the ridiculously bad lines hes expected to spout, the largely-unknown Kruger seems totally out of her depth, and Bloom as always is just plain rubbish. Only Peter OToole, as Trojan leader Priam, really manages to impress. But lets face it hes Peter OToole, so thats hardly a big shockerooney.
Troy is loosely-based on Homers The Illiad, and Im guessing that if the man himself was around to see this hed follow in the footsteps of his superior namesake and greet it with one big Doh!. This is easily one of the weakest epics of recent years.
It's Got: Just about all the old British beardy over-the-top stage actors you can think of.
It Needs: Brian Blessed if only to complete the set.
Alternatives:Apocalypse Now, Helen of Troy, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Saving Private Ryan, The Last Samurai, The Thin Red Line, Unforgiven
Visually stunning, but totally hollow in every other department.