(R) 3 stars It looks like an epic. The soundtrack thunders like an epic. God knows it’s as long as most epics. But Troy doesn’t feel like an epic. That elusive something that grabs you and shakes you and says, “Pay attention; this matters!” just isn’t there. Super big fight club: ‘Troy’Remember in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World when Russell Crowe announced, “This ship is England!” or when he intoned, “Unleash Hell!” in Gladiator? You felt the words in your bones. The closest Troy gets to that is when Achilles (Brad Pitt) tells his men, “Immortality. It’s yours. Take it!”
But the words don’t resonate. I respect Brad Pitt, but there’s something askew with his performance, particularly in his delivery of the line. It happens when he hits the word “yours.” His accent slips, his intonation is off — I’m still not sure exactly what it is. I am sure, though, that it is enough to make his character ring untrue. This is crucial, because, for good and bad, Achilles is regarded as a key figure of power and authority by most of the people in the story. If you don’t believe him, you won’t hook into the movie.
I didn’t, so I didn’t.
Others fare better in Wolfgang Peterson’s massive tale of honor, war and a Trojan horse, “inspired by” Homer’s The Iliad (among the changes is the excising of Zeus and the other Greek gods from the story). Eric Bana is very good as Hector, defender of Troy, even though his character comes off more like a fiercely devoted family man than a warrior leader.
Troy isn’t a bad film. Some of the battle scenes are rousing, as are some of the personal moments, and the visuals are impressive for the most part. But after The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the aerial shots of mega-battles have a “been-there, done-that” quality. The film has enough worthwhile moments to warrant a look, but I wouldn’t pay full price.