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Movie Review: Troy

Alternate Title: Iliad for Dummies

Story: Troy - Oy! A grand tale dumbed down to the least common denominator is bound to be flawed. If I recall my history lessons from James Madison HS in Brooklyn one of the major reasons for the downfall of many a great empire was hubris. Ahhhh, if only director Wolgang Peterson (Das Boot) had more respect for that notion.

If you remember the tale of the Trojan Wars (actually the Cliff Notes will suffice) this treatment is more like the TV Guide description of that long ago time when apparently men were called upon to fight for the King du jour on a whim.

Long story short, Troy and Sparta have finally agreed to a peace accord. But sadly, young Prince Paris, falls madly in love with Helen of Sparta and (in this version) woos her to leave her King and come to Troy with him. Let the battles over ego and pride begin. Swords clank, blood spurts, the combo of pillaging and looting ensue and what would war be without some taking of virgins as prizes?

It goes on and on with long battle scenes, semi-heroic measures over honor, long gazes out onto the horizon, interludes where nothing happens except the annoying mournful wailing of some siren-like female voice and shots of the sunrise and sunset over the Greek waters (actually filmed in Mexico).

I got bored very quickly and when I turned to my young movie pal after film's end and asked 'What did you think?' Her response pretty much summed it up when she said 'It was lame'!

Acting: Oh my. Not much good news to report in this category. Brad Pitt (who looks really good all buffed, toned and oiled) is simply too contemporary a figure to carry out the conflicted role of the great warrior, Achilles. He does not, as they say, have enough gravitas to portray such a part. Eric Bana (Hulk) gave the best performance of all. He was believable as Hector and was just about the only character I cared about at all. Diane Kruger as Helen was supposed to be the 'face that launched a thousand ships'. I don't think so. She was not believable as Helen and actually looked more like Paris' mother than his would-be lover. Orlando Bloom as Paris will most likely disappoint his teenage fans who liked him so much in Lord of the Rings.

Predilection: I like BIG pictures.

Critters: Lots of horses.

Food: Very little time to dine during War.

Visual Art: The Trojan Horse was BIG and there were lots of statues devoted to the gods.

Soundtrack: Over the top and annoying - especially that wailing female voice.

Opening Titles: A short history lesson to bring you up to date as to what you are about to see.

Theater Audience: A handful of people.

Squirm Scale: 2. Swords and spurting blood make me squirm.

Predictability Level: High

Oscar Worthy: No.

Nit Picking: The script was wanting, the dialogue laughable and the casting needed a huge overhaul.

Big Screen or Rental: If you are going to see this film it needs to be seen on the big screen. For some other Brad Pitt films, try: Ocean's Eleven, Spy Game, Fight Club, Seven Years in Tibet, Sleepers, Interview With a Vampire, Kalifornia, A River Runs Through It and Thelma and Louise.

Length: Almost three hours! Waaaaaaaaaay over the Lobo two hour rule.