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Last Updated: Friday, 11 June, 2004, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
Review: Troy
By Victoria Lindrea
BBC News Online Entertainment staff

Brad Pitt as Achilles
Pitt worked for six months to achieve Achilles' physique

Inspired by Homer's Iliad, Wolfgang Petersen's Troy, opening in US on 14 May, recalls the old-fashioned epics of the 1960s.

When Paris (Orlando Bloom), the young prince of Troy persuades Helen, Queen of Sparta (Diane Kruger), to leave her husband, King Menelaus (Brendan Gleeson), and elope to Troy, war is inevitable.

Menelaus must salvage his wounded pride, but for his brother King Agamemnon (Brian Cox) it is an excuse to confront the powerful city of Troy - the one remaining obstacle in his bid to control the Aegean.

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The key to Agamemnon's military success is Achilles (Brad Pitt), a legendary Greek warrior who despises the king, and his insatiable lust for power.

For Achilles, the only reward is the promise of eternal renown.

Realism

Piecing together this multi-layered story, Das Boot director Wolfgang Petersen follows in the footsteps of master storyteller David Lean, gathering a huge team of actors and craftsmen to recreate Homer's epic tale.

Eric Bana as Hector
Bana, last seen in the Hulk, looks set to be catapulted to stardom

Notwithstanding the story's roots in classical mythology, screenwriter David Benioff has removed all trace of the gods, choosing instead to focus on Achilles' defiant rage and his nemesis, the honourable Hector.

Petersen is keen to impose a sense of reality, so that while the film benefits from some highly sophisticated technology, it does not rely solely on digital trickery to evoke the scale of the drama.

With more than 2,000 extras, a wealth of historical detail and the imposing recreation of the walls of Troy and the Trojan horse, this is a swords-and-sandals throwback that does not disappoint in its epic proportions.

Moreover, Petersen has not sacrificed character in favour of special effects. Despite the spectacular battle scenes, the story remains both intimate and human, earthed by its emotional detail.

Star quality

Brad Pitt dominates the screen with the star quality of bygone years, marrying huge screen presence with a lustrous athleticism.

Troy
The tale of the Trojan horse is told in Virgil's Aeneid

Yet this iconic presence is not without definition. Pitt strives to capture Achilles' contradictions, moving from arrogance and fury to tender protector.

Peter O'Toole's tragic turn as the stoic King Priam has already been tipped for Oscar glory. However, it is Eric Bana who stands out in a strong ensemble cast.

Bana - so wasted in Hulk - disappears into the role of the great Trojan warrior Hector. With his gentle authority, his nobility and his devotion, Bana proves far more convincing and far more heroic than the swaggering screen gods of old.

His final confrontation with Achilles is one of the film's crowning glories and a pivotal moment in the film.

Despite the monumental clash of armies that has gone before, it proves the most thrilling fight of all - fraught with suspense, yet tinged with fatalism.

Orlando Bloom & Diane Kruger in Troy
Orlando Bloom stars opposite newcomer Diane Kruger as Helen

Drama

As a dramatic set piece, it serves to re-energise the tale just when the pace is beginning to slacken.

At 162 minutes, Petersen's film is epic by any standards, but considering the vast array of characters and the melding of literary texts - the film incorporates elements of The Iliad and The Aeneid - it is surprisingly fluid, if lengthy.

Some of the dialogue is a little on the clunky side and Petraclos' American drawl does grate. Equally, Cox's Scottish lilt does not go unnoticed.

And James Horner's score has that wailing quality all too reminiscent of Gladiator - a musical backdrop which now appears prerequisite for swords-and-sandals drama.

Nonetheless, in keeping a firm grasp on the human angle of this epic story of love and war, Petersen has crafted an impressive film.

Troy opens across the UK on 21 May.

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What did you think of Troy? Is it a gripping depiction that does justice to the heroic, classic story that inspired its director? Or is it over-long and overrated?

What a waste of CGI time, not to mention a potential classic and timely comentary on the futility of war. The appalling acting was, nothing compared to the dreadful editing and continuity, the worst of which coincided far too often with the expression of any anti-war sentiment. Its a long time since I actually considered walking out on a film.
Pete Nightingale, Reading UK

Go and enjoy the film by all means, but try reading Homer's Iliad as well, its accessible and gets you involved from the first page and creates a story of beauty that is moving, exciting and funny!I guarantee you won't want to put it down.That justifies the film to me.
Dominic, London

Gods of Olympus, give me strength to overcome this disaster! Homer is restless in his grave! The film was a travesty, and I will not start with it┐s accuracy but I will start with it name. They should change its name to Achilliad. Everything is about Achilles! As for its accuracy, I agree that Iliad wasn┐t a historic document and described war of Troy in a mythical base but never the less if your film is based on it (Iliad) you should at least try to follow the real story. The war lasted 10 years not 7 days!
Alexandros, Athens, Greece

It is hard to know whether to recommend the film because the plot has both good and bad points. The good points are really good (No Gods shown taking part and the Achilles-Priam plotline intact), but the bad points are really bad! I've already mentioned one of them on SOLOF, namely the killing of Menelaus and the portrayal of Paris and Helen as lovers. This is bad because, if Helen had indeed happily gone back to Menelaus (as in the original), it would have given the whole war some credible meaning or accomplishment. After rereading some parts of the Iliad and Odyssey again I also realise how important the contrast between Hector and Achilles was. You remember in the original, that Hector boasts about how he is not going to let the Greeks recover the body of Patroclus and he is going to "feed his body to the dogs of Troy". Achilles on the other hand, after wanting to do similar to Hectors body in his anger, takes pity on Priam and releases Hector's body for a proper funeral. However the film completely destroys this contrast, making Hector appear as if he is Mr Nice Guy who only wants "peace" with the Greeks. This leaves the audience, in my opinion, wondering what the hell the film is supposed to be about. Are they supposed to like Hector and dislike Achilles, or dislike Paris and Helen and like Priam? The film is awash with mixed messages and confusion. What the hell went through the scriptwriters minds when they decided to cast Hector and Paris as the good guys and Menelaus and Agamemnon as the bad guys I just can't imagine? It seems they tried to keep the original plot more or less in place while putting their own plot changes unevenly on top - which in my opinion has disastrous consequences!
Marcus Bachler, UK

Good stuff Eric Bana. He has shown just how good an actor he is. Brad on the other hand should stick to easy scripts and light entertainment. Good movie, glad it was in English so I didn't have to read subtitles for 3 hours.
Jackie, Wollongong, Australia

Many people who complain about the movie's lack of accuracy forget that it is at least as loyal to the Iliad as the Iliad is to the real war that took place.
Chuck, Atlanta, USA

Though I respect the perogative of Holywood to adapt The Iliad in making Troy, the very heart of the poem seemed to be gutted with a few fell strokes. Aside from their mistreatment of several characters (Aias and Agamemnon for instance) making the movie much shallower than it could have been, we don't get the story of the rage of Achilles, but rather of the fall of Troy.

Instead of a simple unity of ideas, we get a series of actions that, though they definitely have their high-points, are disjointed and at times confusing. I'm rather disappointed that Achilles is developed so simply, without nearly as much focus on his trasformation and redemption as Homer gives. Alas.

That being said, it's a decent movie if you're willing to appreciate it as such, instead of a primitive retelling of the Iliad.
John Scharbach, Santa Fe, USA

A lot better than I expected, especially after recently seeing that Van Helsing disaster. I liked the fact that the mythic gods were mentioned only by name, allowing the viewer to use their imagination and focus more on the mortal characters. The fight scenes between Pitt and Bana were well choregraphed. I wasn't expecting a masterpiece, I was entertained. And the audience was emotionally involved. A lot of sniffling and applauds at the end.
Maria, Chicago, USA

I saw the preview this weekend and have to say i enjoyed it for what it was, entertainment. Pitt did well and should get some credit for making the best of a lousy script. The only time his acting was a bit hammy was when trying to convey Achilles' legendary rage - didn't happen.

All in all it will be a massive hit, mainly cause the leading man looks the part of the demi god.
Nicola, London, UK

I think all the complaints about Troy not being historically accurate are distracting from the real problem - the film is the biggest pile of rubbish seen for a very long time!
Ally, London

I thoroughly enjoyed the film but then, I went to be entertained not taught Greek history! The camerawork was superb and the Computer Generated Images were amazing. I read that there were only two actual ships as the rest were computerised as were most of the army. Knowing that the film was nearly three hours long I expected to be squirming in my seat before the end but the time flew past.
Barry, Wellington, UK

I was rather disappointed with the movie as it did not represent the real epic, why name the movie Troy if it does not represent the real story? The director, in my opinion, made a lot of mistakes which he should not have, for example, in the background you could here ancient Greek soldiers mentioning a particular Spanish word, how ridiculous is that, couldn't he have thought of a Greek word instead?!

Also the Trojan temple looked Egyptian, that is pathetic, the temples in ancient Greece never looked like that. Lastly, the most ridiculous of them all were the belly dancers in Agamemnon's palace, my God this is ancient Greece not an Arabic state that did not exist those years anyway!

Belly dancers were never part of the ancient Greek culture, not even the modern Greek culture. I do believe the director did not do his homework right, perhaps a Greek historian could have offered him some useful information. Let's hope that in his future movies he does not make mistakes such as having a Roman dressed as an ancient Egyptian.
Jonathan, UK

The film is not based upon historical events but upon a mythological saga. Whilst there may have been a siege at a place called Troy, the film or poem are unlikely to be based on actual events. It is therefore pointless to criticise the film for lack of historical detail. It is however a fair comment that they could have stuck more closely to the Iliad.
Mark S, Manchester

"Entertainment", are you sure? Did you really think this dull interpretation of a true classic was any good? Three hours of passionless acting, what was the script writer trying to achieve? If you want to see a classic "Gladiator style" rendition of a great story (and it is a story... not fact) give this one a miss. If you like to watch pretty boys playing with their swords, you may enjoy it.
Dan, Sutton, UK

It was drivel. The fight scenes were good, the computerised battles weren't. Eric Bana was the best thing in it (with Saffron Burrows close behind). Brad Pitt looked wonderful and fought well (or his double did) but his acting was dire (went home and watched Fight Club - has he been cloned?) Diane Kruger should never be allowed near a movie set again.

I accept that most people view the Iliad as fiction but Troy did exist and this is a legend that has been around for centuries. Why say you're going to tell that story if you're not? It wasn't just the Gods that were missing, so was the 10 year seige. All in all a waste of time and money (mine as well as the film-makers).
Melanie Deans, London, England

This is one of the worst films I have ever seen! The script-writing is not even worthy of a Mills-and-Boon novel, the acting - apart from Eric Bana and Peter O'Toole - completely wooden, and the direction very very uneven. The dialogue was so bad in parts that the audience (on Saturday night in Boston) actually laughed! It will probably become a cult camp classic though - lots of oiled muscular bodies and chiselled jaws.
Mari, Boston, USA

I was so disappointed by this movie... My favourite parts of the movie were Odysseus' Roman Helmet and the Egyptian Chariots. Just listing all the downright stupid things done by the director would take up pages, the armour, the weapons, the battles, the storyline, etc. What was so difficult to understand about it taking place in the Bronze Age? It is equivalent to a Vietnam era war movie using laser rifles and force fields, or Petersen's own WW2 Das Boot taking place on a nuclear submarine. No one is expecting them to get it 100% but please try to at least keep the major parts historically accurate.
G. E. Elston, Johannesburg, South Africa

Troy's extremely accurate in many ways - for instance, there actually were Greeks and Trojans in the original epic. Once you get past that, however, you have to look a little harder to find similarities between the movie and Homer's work. People looking to expect an accurate rendition of the Iliad are going to be disappointed; people who are going to expect an entertaining movie will be somewhat less so. It is disappointing that movies apparently have to be watered down these days, however. It's not "U-571" inaccurate (though it's hard to approach that), but I would've like to have seen something that really tried to catch the spirit of the times a little more than Troy did.
Patrick, Halifax, Canada

Why is it that the main charecters in all big budget epic films always have British/Australian accents? Shouldn't the cast of Troy have Greek accents? Or for that matter Gladiator cast should have Italian accents? Talk about not being historic!!
Joe C., Miami, USA

Until it matures Hollywood should stick to Scooby-Doo and as for the suggestions, that the film should make use of Ancient Greek, well just imagine Brad Pitt saying "Andra moi enepe mousa politropon os mala pola plahthin epi Trois ieron ptoliethron epersen". I suppose it would all be Greek to him.
George Papadofragakis, Athens, Greece

I had the misfortune to go to a press screening of Troy. What could have been an amazing epic in a similiar vein to Gladiator turns out to be a first class turkey. Pitt's wooden acting was toe-curling and the rest of the cast are let down by a hammy script.
Charlie, London, UK

It's heartbreaking to see yet another film that could be great, but decides that using realistic clothing/weaponry/situations/etc just isn't as cool as making it all up. It is contributing to the erosion of our historical awareness.
Richard, Luton, UK

Once more a classic tale has been ruined by American filmakers, Homer must be revolving rapidly in his grave. Just for once I would enjoy seeing an American-produced film that has stayed true to the story it is based on. I am sadly disappointed in this film which bares only a passing resemblance to the story of the fall of Troy. Perhaps the studio should have better scriptwriters, directors and producers?
Dave W, Warks,UK

It cannot be a great depiction. No use of ancient languages - it is the same and old story, all civilizations speak English and understand each other.
James, Los Angeles, CA

I think the movie strayed far from the original story. There was so much history left out in this movie - as a result it appeared like a whole new different tale. Which is not all that bad if you have not seen previous Troy movies. I thought Bana was simply great as Hector and Pitt was great in the battle scenes, but in the other scenes Pitt's acting was very awkward. It reminded me of Meet Joe Black, he had the same innocent and confused look that just doesn't fit with Achilles' character. On the other hand, all those exercise he did really paid off, I'm sure there will be plenty of girls drooling over that perfectly-sculpted body as I did. But I have to say the best actor there would probably be Peter O'Toole - he has such a great presence whenever he appeared on that screen. Some of the costume choices are also great. I thought the blue was refreshing change. In the end even though I was left feeling a little unsatisfied, I enjoyed it and it definitely is worth seeing.
Olivia, Sydney, Australia

What would happen when, say, 500 years from now, people find this film, and horror of horrors, take it as accurate account of human history. As Mel Gibson demonstrated in Passion of Christ, it is very important to film ancient epics in the language of the time, as that is not only the means of communication but the very fabric of the society, without which no matter how hard you try to disguise it with elaborate sets and handsome actors, it just remains a parody.
Nilesh, Antwerp, Belgium

It's beyond me why people are griping that this film is bereft of ancient languages and bears only "a passing resemblance to the story of the fall of Troy" and is tantamount to an "erosion of our historical awareness". First and foremeost, this film is is an entertainment; what may well be a rewarding consequence is that people may want to delve further into the background.
PAS, Dublin, Ireland

The movie lacked a good script and the actors, particulary the supporting actors, required more training.The storyline was very predictable, the love scenes needed more work.To conclude, for a historical movie based on historical events it did not deliver the "bang". Disappointing, but a good learning experience.
Warsama Qoys, Sydney, Australia

Should I compare this movie with the Lord of the Rings trilogy? Paris or Legolas in that film? I wonder. David Lean would have made it better.......with less cost.
Woopang, Wellington, New Zealand

I think we should remember that the texts that this film is based on are considered by most to be works of fiction, and so the makers of this film choosing to change elements of the story isn't quite so harmful as re-imagining historical facts. They chose to emphasise the human aspect of the story rather than include some Xena-esque plot involving the Greek Gods, and I think it's a more credible movie as a result of that. And what's more, I found Brad Pitt's acting really rather convincing, although I gather I'm in a minority here.
Lisa Wild, London, UK

It is not a "historical movie"! The film is based on the epic Iliad which is a myth. It is an entertaining film and that's all! Did you expect a Hollywood movie to capture the glory of the Homeric epic?
Eva Chaidemenou, Athens, Greece

This movie should never have been compressed into three hours. Even though some parts were good, I am terribly disapointed. I think a trilogy would have been a good start! There are way too many elements left out.
Edy, Austin, Texas

This film is disappointingly unimaginative. It is also misleading and in some cases a Hollywood white-wash. Patrocles was the lover of Achilles (rather than a 'cousin'). There were too many slave-girls in Achilles' tent.
Michael, London

I have read Homer's poems and Virgil, and yes this film does not follow the story. I was at times surprised at the changes but let's not forget this is suppose to be entertainment. We are not paying for an accurate representation of those classic poems, which after all were myth not historical fact. Homer himself at times got confused between whether the story was set in the Iron Age or Late Bronze Age. So did the film entertain? Personally I enjoyed it, although I was aware that the pace seemed slow at times. It was a good but not great film. As for the acting Eric Bana was good as Hector and Peter O'Toole was Priam, it is difficult to fault either of them. As for Brad Pitt, he looked gorgeous
Sue, Tunbridge Wells, UK

It's not the deepest film and certainly not historically (or Homerically) accurate, but come on, folks, this is Hollywood and they go for what brings audiences in. Achilles didn't really have a thing with Brieseis, he had a thing with Patrocles - but who'd want to see that? The bottom line? Movies must make money. Star power? Yes. Entertaining? Yes. Accurate or faithful? A bonus.
Sera, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I have no idea why critics are so upset that Troy did not match up with Homer's story. Hollywood makes movies to entertain people and Wolfgang did just that. The movie was extremly entertaining and boiled a lot of positive emotions in the theatre. I say so what if the movie was changed from the original story? At least 4 to 5 people have their own different versions of Troy, why cant the script writers and Peterson have thier own? I must say they did a great job. Although I do agree that Orlando Blooms acting was pretty low standard but with such great perfomances by the legendary Peter O' Toole and upcomming Eric Bana, it's a wonderful epic production.
Maaz A , Toronto, Canada

Exactly what percentage of the people who will go to see this film will have actually read the Illiad? A minority, I should think, including me! The cinema is a place of entertainment not instruction, so as far as 'Troy' goes the final decision will rest with the general public and I suspect the vast majority will thoroughly enjoy it!
John,

Original language? Why on earth would I want to spend 3 hours reading subtitles? How would that really benefit the film? Eric Bana's portrayal was superb, as was Peter O'Toole's. Very entertaining film, but you cannot believe for even a moment that Brad Pitt was the greatest warrior to grace the planet. He does not exude the strength or the presence or, frankly, the acting chops, necessary for that role.
Cheri, San Diego, California, USA

Since when is the Iliad or any other myth history? Just as Virgil took many liberties with Homer's original, so does Hollywood here. I agree that Pitt was not up to the task while Bana was very good indeed as my favorite Homeric hero. Lighten up everybody. This is entertainment after all. Homer sought to entertain his modern audience just as Petersen does here. As with Tolkien, the classics will survive just fine on their own and do enjoy renewed interest following these "popcorn" treatments.
J.P.Williams, Hollywood, California

One of the worst films ever made, this is a turkey of monumental proportions. Shockingly scripted and appallingly acted, Troy blunders from set piece to set piece on the crest of its CGI-enhancements and hopes for the best. The removal of the gods from the story renders it unconvincing - why is Achilles such a great warrior? Because he's invincible? No, he's just Brad Pitt. Save your money.
Toby Townrow, Llanelli, UK

I'm currently in the final year of a classics degree. The Iliad is a highly complex piece of literature, and to really appreciate its intricacies you need to know something of the way in which Homeric society operates. This too is highly involved and Petersen could never have hoped to capture it all even in a film that was three times as long. What the film did was pick out Achilles' ambiguous character as a focal point - an obvious but good choice. Occasionally it really shone in portraying this part of the Iliad, such as Achilles' duel with Hector and secret meeting with Priam, but most of the time it was lost in a load of extraneous and unecessary plot modifications which only served to cause confusion. There were some absolute gems in the Iliad which would have appealed hugely to modern audiences but which the film makers seemed happy to skim over. In a couple of places the script is almost laughable and the acting is certainly not consistently good but there really are moments when you can see a great film coming through. Unfortunately it gets quickly lost again in the confusion. Don't get me wrong, I hate it as much as the next person when people rant on about liberties a film has taken with the details but it saddens me to see a film that could have easily been so much better take one of the geatest pieces in the history of western literature and dum it down to its basic blockbuster essence. It's made worse by the fact that there are moments in this film when you can really see some genius in the directing. When will Hollywood stop treating its audiences like they have the intellectual capacity of a three year old?!
Tom , Cambridge, UK

I can't believe people are complaining about the language and the accuracy according to the Iliad. I read both the Odyssey and the Iliad and still found this movie very entertaining and great. I loved the performances of Bana and Pitt above all. Bana is an excellent Hector and Pitt really looks like the golden Achilles I imagined while reading the Iliad. And there is absolutely no discussing his fight scenes. Awesome! Why oh why should I want to see a movie where everyone speaks ancient dialects and which is a documentary of the Iliad? I can watch an educational channel for this kind of film. All I wanted was to watch gorgeous-looking guys in little clothing and great battles and guess what, I thoroughly enjoyed Troy!
Oren, Switzerland

I must say that I enjoyed the movie, not only because it had Brad Pitt in it but also because it was entertaining as well as that, and it was interesting to see a bit of the historical side of things. I was moved by Eric Bana's character and the roll he played was spot on as was Pitt's and Bloom's. Although we could have been introduced to Achiles in a bit more in depth. It seemed to me that we were just thrown into him. The visual effects and the graphics were spectacular. All in all it was a great epic adventure.
Jo , Wollongong, Australia

The scenery was incredible, the actors were gorgeous, the special effects were breath-taking, making the movie a fantastically entertaining three hours. To all the snotty-nosed people making comments about how inaccurate the film was and picking at historical blunders, just remember that this is a dose of pure Hollywood entertainment, not a historical documentary. If you don't want a sensationalised spectacle, rather go and watch the Discovery Channel, and leave the rest of us to enjoy the epic fantasy.
Katie Barrett, Pretoria, South Africa

Was I the only person who thought that Peter O'Toole's acting was completely lame? The milky blue-eyed weird bug-eyed stare of his had the audience in our theatre snickering. If that was Oscar-winning acting...yikes! As for Brad Pitt, he had the body of a Greek god and that was eye candy that wasn't computer generated, unlike most of the movie. Enough with a digitized cast of tens of thousands, please!
Gayle Hallgren, Vancouver, Canada

I was expecting a massive turkey according to the reviews served up by our 'esteemed film critics'. What I got was good solid entertainment and the only fly in the ointment was Diane Kruger's strange accent. The final battle between Hector and Achilles was heartbreaking as you knew the inevitable outcome and Saffron Burrows conveyed her suffering during the battle without speaking a single word. Eric Bana was extremely moving as the noble Hector and Brad Pitt tackled a complex and tragic character by giving a restrained performance. I thought the pent-up rage was conveyed by the extreme viciousness with which he dispatched his adversaries in battle ! Petersen translated a literary epic into a form accessible to the general public not just those versed in the classics.
Ferzana, London, UK

I'm in the minority. I don't understand all the negativity, poo-pooing Brad Pitt and the film in general for not being historically accurate etc. You have to accept in the end that Hollywood adapts stories for the contemporary audience. In doing so, this is a spectacular achievement from Wolfgang Petersen. I thought Brad Pitt excels, all the more considering the star-power of the cast, Saffron Burrows, Rose Byrne, Sean Bean, Orlando Bloom superb, Peter O'Toole mesmerizing, Eric Bana great... all deserving of Oscars!
Mike Trudgian, Australia, UK & Italy

It is a great movie, a ripping yarn. What are the critics whining about ? This must constitute one of the best war/anti-war movies in years. Inaccuracies, short-cuts in the script, a few plot holes, etc. So what ? Was Iliad perfect ? No. It's a story - meant to entertain, surely ? Relay a message - yes. And I think "Troy" does just that very easily and convincingly - the purposelessness (if there is such a word !?) or perhaps the vacuity of war in general and the fact that fighting seems to be timeless. My humble thoughts.
Abdullah, Christchurch, New Zealand

Don't waste your money on this. If it hadn't been for my sister who kept nudging my arm, I would have fallen asleep. The film was dull, lifeless, and slow. True, the scenery was amazing (but obviously computer-generated) but the acting was uninspiring. Only the sight of the Trojan Horse, and the scene with Achilles' Heel at the end of the film made any real impact - and not much at that.
Mark Jordan, Brackley, UK

I found myself wondering how they were going to fit those hundreds of computer generated ships on that narrow strip of beach. The general consensus seems to be that Eric Bana and Peter O'Toole really carry the movie, and I agree. Brad Pitt is unspectacular in his delivery of what admittedly is a bit of a plodder of a script. His physique, however, is true first grade Hollywood eye candy. Well worth the few bucks all told- if you don't go in expecting The Passion of Achilles.
Schein, Seoul, Korea

What a phenomenally average film this is, its script lurches from acceptable to a standard that would have been considered too low brow for American Pie. The two key flaws are that A. Not everyone came to the party and B. The Director has no real sense of the character of Achilles. Brian Cox and Peter O Toole are superb, particularly the larger than life Agamemnon. Bana shows he can act a bit but Brad Pitt seems thoroughly half hearted and Orlando Bloom just looks out of his depth. What is Achilles then? A renegade? A socially responsible leader? A hotheaded thug? A Gentleman Warrior? If only the director had spent some time studying the texts rather than working out how to get the most out of Brad Pitt's Nudity he may have had an idea. Its by no means a Pearl Harbour, but it very nearly was.
Simon Curtis, Whitley Bay, UK

All of you are missing the monumental point! Forget history, forget literature, even forget the acting. Brad Pitt is still, at 40, the sexiest man alive. His body was perfection and his sex appeal screamed for attention. I'm not superficial but DAMN! Brad is yummy :-).
Carmen, Paris, France

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