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Troy

Starring: Brad Pitt, Eric Bana , Orlando Bloom, Diane Kruger, Peter O''Toole and Brian Cox
Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen
Rated R

 

Bluntly speaking? Never has a finer extravaganza of deliciously defined dueling manly-men been put to film... it is, however, Homer-lite in the telling of the epic tale. A kind of computer generated battlefield ballet with a high-brow Cro-Magnon intelligence version of Homers' Iliad that "borrows" from the tried and true mega-hit combos found in Gladiator (less the soul) and Lord of the Rings (less the spirit, or breadth). As a summer blockbuster it's fun enough - for the first two hours! But the violence is going to be too much for kids (I'm warnin' ya) and the story too long for normal blockbuster faring folks, and yet too riddled with holes for the Homer lovin' of the viewers.

Story goes, in case you've forgotten...Paris, Prince of Troy (Orlando Bloom), has made off with the beautiful Helen (Diane Kruger)

Problem is Ms. Helen is presently the Queen of Sparta. Tsk-tsk.

Her husband, King Menelaus (Brendan Gleeson), is none to keen on a divorce, or scandal, or willing to be the least bit modern about the whole "affair."

The king is simply beside himself over the whole thing and weeps into his brother's arms -so to speak.

The King's brother Agamemnon (Brian Cox) - in a hoity pretense of honor - hires warriors to basically snag the two-timing woman back. But Troy has two things going for it - a strong King (Peter O'Toole) and another prince - brother of Paris. This son, named Hector (Eric Bana), is super duper extra handy in battle.

As the tribes gather to breakdown the walls of Troy, Achilles (Brad Pitt), the world's greatest warrior alive starts to think this battle is big big news and sees in it a chance for his own infamy - or a chance to be a myth, err, hero in the books forever...

He's a mixture of blinded arrogance, and actual ability served on a hot bun of loves-himself; a tad narcissistic. He comes eye to eye with Hector.

Hector too thinks of himself as unbeatable - till now he has been...and he wants this cocky Achilles for lunch—and I don't mean sandwiches and beers.

That's pretty much it. The whole battle of Troy fiasco was over a Brooklynese-style extra-marital affair exploited by power hungry relatives and pretty-boys with battlefield toys.

And those toys are violent! In fact it's odd how the violence is one of the few truly representative parts of the famous poem. Gone are the flamboyant gods we love to recall during a Trivial Pursuit game. And gone too is any depth of character - the singularity of these people that made Homer's tale so timeless. We watch ...and watch.... for three hours but in the end never really get to know anyone, or rather, truly care for anyone.

Let's talk torts - mantorts. Orlando Bloom, a genuinely handsome chap, as Paris, looks—dare I say it aloud for fear thou wouldst smote me and banish me to Mephistopheles' liar for an eon of darkness forth? I shall—Elfin next to Eric Bana and Brad Pitt. He does however act as Paris was meant to be; according to Homer, the man was not exactly hero material or even that brave...hot, yes, he was always a McHotty Cakes with a side of Maple syrup flavored dipping sauce.

Hectorsaraus Rex, aka Eric Bana, comes from the manly-man "Four H (Hot, Handsome, Hunky and Huggable) Club Capitol of the World" Australia. Dear yum is he sizzling. Ladies we have a looker here of extreme proportions in more ways than one!

Speaking of manly samplings of pure yum - the Achilles' heal of my little man lovin' heart - that extraordinary talent, stepped in a rare mixture of noshable spicy bits, Brad Pitt, was quite fun as Achilles. Bana's machismo however, steals the show and Brad kind of comes off as a surfer-dude on a valium & steroids cocktail.

There's oodles of greats making appearances like Brian Cox and Peter O'Toole and even Sean Bean.

Staging the Trojan War, by Hollywood's make-it-or-break it box office creedo aint so easy. The sets, the effects and cast look fantastic (though the costumes look like rentals for Lot Rentals-R-Us). But director Wolfgang Petersen, who had made the decision from the first, not to go mythical with his Troy, should have taken the step over the edge of madness and made a five hour epic - who's counting? Give us the glorious gods we all know and love - without them, character development and the guts behind all the literal guts,Troy, even with its handsome blue-chip actor package meant to dazzle us with their shimmering man beauty (smoke and mirrors-ish), just droned on and on...making this reviewer glance longingly towards the inviting illumination of the theater's exit signs .

Snack recommendation: A Grecian Grillfest Mansteak BBQ - with plenty of eunuchs to keep the wine flowing...


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