Directed by Wolfgang Peterson (who should have known better).
Starring: Brad Pitt's butt and chiseled abs, Legolas, Boromir, Peter O'Toole (who should have known better), 300 Hungarians and 500 Mexicans (I watched some of the extras).
Written by some idiot who should be shot while being strangled.
In case anyone is unclear on this, this movie sucked. I have not read the Iliad, so I won't be able to comment on how accurate the overall story is to the written word (given how crappy everything else was, I'm guessing they screwed this up, too). That being said, this movie was awful from beginning to end. I'm glad I was drinking while watching it - it made it much funnier.
The acting was uniformly awful. Everyone over-acted as much as they could. They seemed to be trying to outdo themselves, like it was a contest. The only exception to this was Brad Pitt, who kept the same face on no matter what he was doing - killing people, screwing people, annoying people or dying (oops, did I give that away - sorry!).
The special effects were nice, but who cares? The story sucked and the acting sucked, so the pretty eye candy was diverting for a few moments, but after you see the first battle scene, the rest don't do as much for you.
Maybe someone can help me here with my Greek mythology. The movie had lots of people talking about the Greek Gods, but they never made any sort of appearance. I mean, no one got smote, disappeared in a puff of smoke, got turned into a newt or had superhuman strength. I thought the deal with the Greek Gods were that they involved themselves in human affairs? They were always snatching the odd human to mate with, give things to, force them on quests or something. None of that happened here. Does the Iliad have anything like that?
The one exception to the above statement was Brad Pitt as Achilles. Of course, everyone knows the legend of Achilles: can't be hurt, except in his heel. This is because some of his genes are divine (his mother, I think, was a god of some kind). This fact is not mentioned in the movie. In fact, Achilles is introduced as some great fighter, and no one explains why he is so good. Or that he is invulnerable. The first time in the movie that any actual weapon touches him is when a dumb arrow smacks him in the heel (of course, Legolas fires it: couldn't they have given him some other weapon? We already have seen him shoot arrows for three movies). This sort of misses the whole invulnerable point, I thought. I mean, no one really knows (according to the movie) that he's invulnerable, since no one every really gets a swing at him. Again, this sort of removes any "divineness" of the whole thing.
I'll make a brief point at the end about the military absurdities of the movie. Everyone in the movie is complete moron about anything military. First of all the city of Troy (violating historical accuracy) is a city about a half a mile from the Aegean, but has no port. That's right, no docks, no way for ships to bring things into the city. Complete idiocy. Second, no one in Troy has a boat/ship. It's a complete surprise when the entire Greek fleet shows up, 'cause Troy is completely incapable of actually looking for them in the ocean (or, you know, fighting them out in the ocean). Third, the Troyean (Troyish?) strategy for winning the fight cleverly involves letting the Greeks land, and then waiting for them to attack. I don't know about you, but the best way to stop a bunch of people on boats from attacking you is to never let them get out of the boats. See, they are very vulnerable when they are on burnable wooding things in small groups. No one in Troy seems to realize this, so the Greeks waltz ashore unopposed. Fourth, the Troyeans (who have these really big walls around their city, see) choose to fight the Greeks (who outnumber them two or three to one) outside their walls. That's right, they build these great, heaping walls, then don't use them. Complete idiocy. What I do remember of the legend of the Iliad, was that their was a siege: see the Troyeans stayed inside, while the Greeks were outside. Hence the need for that horse thingy, 'cause the Greeks couldn't get in any other way. Fifth, where was the siege? The Greeks came in from the ocean, and the Troyeans just fought them there. Did it occur to anyone in Troy that they had a whole bunch of "running away" options, since they were not surrounded by Greeks? Sixth, how come no one (on either side) built anything larger than a bow and arrow? There were no siege engines (catapults, etc.) on either side. Now maybe they hadn't been invented yet, but couldn't the Greeks have invented a ram? I mean, how, exactly, did the Greeks expect to knock down the walls of Troy? Seventh, and finally, while the Troyeans are celebrating the Greek retreat ("Hey, where did they go? They were here 12 days ago. Huh, maybe we should have kept an eye on them. But they left us this really great horse statue. Let's bring it inside!"), the entire Greek fleet is around the corner, hanging out waiting for darkness so they can assemble (quietly: 30,000 Greeks quietly assembled just in front of the walls and no one heard them) on the sand in front of Troy and wait for the dudes in the horse to let them in. Some Troy sentry (perhaps the only damn one in the army) happens to walk along and see them. He is promptly killed. Here is the interesting part: this does not tip off Troy. See, scout/sentries have two jobs. First, go find the bad guys. Second, by failure to come back and tell someone you didn't find anything, that tells the rest of the army that you are dead (and, you found the bad guys). So when the (now dead) Troyean sentry fails to return to Troy, that should clue Troy in that something might, just possibly, maybe be going on. They fail to think in this general direction, and are (justifiably) burnt to a crisp by the entire Greek army.
I realize it isn't the job of the movie to be either legendarily or historically correct. I continue, however, to object when people act like complete raving lunatics in movies. Even total idiots realize you can't knock down 40-foot high stone walls with bronze swords and wooden spears.
In sum: do not watch this movie unless you are completely desperate (and drunk), are in love with Brad Pitt (who is really, really hot in this), or need an example of how to most efficiently piss away $100million (or whatever the budget was on this).Posted by baltar at April 2, 2005 05:40 PM | TrackBack | Posted to Movies