May 15, 2004

$0.50 Review of Troy

Posted in General at 12:05 am by Ian

This review probably doesn’t really contain any plot spoilers, mostly because it’s hard to spoil a story that was written thousands of years ago. Yet, people persisted in being pissed when Lord of the Rings was “spoiled” to them, so I will warn you right now that they’re inside the horse at the end. But it does, you know, talk about the movie. Caveat legator.

On the whole, I thought the movie was quite enjoyable and that the casting, costumes, and acting were all top notch. I have, however, one major beef with the movie, and one minor annoyance.

The first is that they didn’t put in the mythology. Or, rather, they put it in as mythology, rather than as part of the story. No back story on Achilles’ invulnerability, no contests between the gods, no message from Apollo. Nothing. When the gods are mentioned at all, it is either by fools, or by the heros, who do little to hide their contempt.

I think that without the external struggle of the gods, the story loses quite a bit of depth. The Iliad isn’t just about the politics and practice of war, it’s a conflict between men and their fate as well. Second, relegating religion to the mewling of weak men is so culturally ignorant. Of course, because he’s Christian, he’d never do so, but it’s like if Gibson had made The Passion of the Christ and just had him die at the end.

The second is more minor, but is a continuation of a trend in film I find annoying. The editing for the fight scenes is too damn fast. You get about four or five clips a second, leaving your eyes darting across the screen trying to find any fixed point at all to grasp onto. I have no impression of the fight except chaos.

Arguably, there are artistic reasons for portraying battles as chaotic masses of bloody people, but when the 162 minute film is about a freaking war, you need to give up on making a third of the action = chaos.

Finally, they did a really impressive job casting Helen, which I’ve got to credit them for, given that that had to be about the most awe-inspiring casting call ever.

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5 Comments »

  1. becca said,

    And, of course, they made the whole war seem as if it took about 16 days (including the 12-day wait time) from start to finish. Gah.

  2. Adam said,

    Hey now Becca, I thought you were going to wait and see that with me when you came up here. [pout] Oh well, I see how it is.

  3. becca said,

    Oh. Umm. I was forced at gunpoint? Actually I succumbed to peer pressure (sad, isn’t it?). But you should still see it. And/or I will still see it with you when I get there, if you want.

    And hey Ian, congrats on that whole graduating thing!

  4. Dan said,

    It’s the ideal movie – Keli wants to see it because there’s “hotties” in it and I want to see it for the fight sequences.

    Cracks me up that Brad Pitt hurt his Achilles’ Tendon on the set playing Achilles

  5. Liza said,

    I hear Brad Pitt is naked in that movie. How did you neglect to mention that?


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