April 02, 2005

Movie Review: Troy

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.

Review: Craptastic!

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


do you have some aversion to the word "trojan" to describe the people of troy?

hilarious review. nothing surprising there, but i'm quite certain i'll have an even harder time watching this movie, should anyone ever take me hostage, tape my eyes open, and make me watch it (the only way), in light of your many observations.


Posted by: joshua at April 2, 2005 06:02 PM | PERMALINK

This is so funny that I feel like maybe I should get drunk and rent it right away! Idiocy on this scale can be highly entertaining after all - if viewed through the right googles. But it sounds like it's so bad that it goes past funny and drops straight into abysmal. What a shame. Great review though.

Posted by: Armand at April 3, 2005 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, "Trojan" would have worked, but my brain couldn't find it, and "Troyean" sounded better. Funny movie, though. Brad Pitt sure is cute.

Posted by: baltar at April 3, 2005 04:51 PM | PERMALINK

Brad Pitt's team of personal trainers and chefs (for the no fat diet he must have been on) get two thumbs up.

Posted by: binky at April 4, 2005 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

My masochist streak got the better of me and I watched this last night/this morning (it was far too awful to watch at one sitting). All I can say is - there is nothing redeeming about this crap at all. I don't care how much you like Brad Pitt or like delighting in big budget box office bombs or like CGI or like big battles or how drunk you are. Brad Pitt is astonishingly bad, the music and writing might have been worse (presuming it's possible), ugh ugh ugh. If anything, Baltar was far far far too kind in his description.

Posted by: Armand at June 25, 2005 01:18 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, I guess it was really that bad. Nice to know my "crap-o-meter" wasn't broken.

Posted by: baltar at July 1, 2005 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

I should have read this review before seeing the movie. Its just like you described it: "a pile of crap"

Posted by: Cristonson at September 25, 2005 03:59 PM | PERMALINK

I think you're all full of crap.
This is one of the best movies I have ever seen.
Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom and the women who played their partners were outstanding.
The movie is NOT BORING.
Your reviews are outrageously BORING.
What was wrong with this movie?
Not enough ass and sex for all of you!?!?
It is a very passionate, enthralling, and exciting movie.
Passionate in the sense that all warriors wanted to win but love prevailed over war in the end.
Troy was destroyed and no one won.

Posted by: Trojan Women at November 17, 2005 07:04 PM | PERMALINK

i don't think i've ever written this acronym before, but OMG!!!

Posted by: moon at November 18, 2005 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I guess, now that you've pointed it out, other than the awful acting, idiotic directing, stupid script, wooden characters, and moronic dialog, there was nothing wrong with the movie.

Oopsie! My Bad! :(

Posted by: baltar at November 18, 2005 02:46 PM | PERMALINK

hmm....no one says that your opinion sucks but tell you the story is not crap it is an all time classic. and for the divineness of achilles....if you ever read the book well he is part god that is why he is a known fighter. and the movie doesn't need to show people that he is one because it kind of common sense if you ever know your greek mythology. and the thing you question about his being invulnerable...the heel was his only weakness and by the help of the gods...luckily paris put an arrow straight to hi s heel.....

but i say you can be a great critique...though infortunatelly your pick of words are really, what can i say, slugish. very sluggish. and ill-mannered and no one can respect your opinion cause your too pushy on what you think and it's just not quite a critique would do....

Posted by: clock-winder at July 16, 2007 10:57 AM | PERMALINK


Look, I'll give you "ill-mannered" (I had to watch the piece of crap, so I was ill-mannered); I'll even give you "pushy" (critics are supposed to have opinions, be they right or wrong), but "sluggish" it wasn't.

Other than that, I'm not sure what your point is...

Posted by: baltar at July 24, 2007 01:29 PM | PERMALINK

Dude, have him post a link to his published crits so that he can show us how it's done.

Posted by: jacflash at July 24, 2007 08:03 PM | PERMALINK

The movie itself was okay I guess, but I don't like how it is almost NOTHING like the Iilyiad. I mean, Menalaus dies, for one thing, which really got me pissed. Though, this movie was not meant to be a reenactment, they even said so. I also don't really like how they make Paris seem like the good guy, when in reality, he is a coward, jackass, etc. I think it is interesting how they do the alternate ending where Andromache and Astyanax like in the books by David Gemmel.

Posted by: Julia at April 26, 2010 07:57 PM | PERMALINK
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