Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Brad Pitt Just One of Epic's Achilles' Heels; Miscast Star, Clunky Dialogue Plague 'Troy'

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Brad Pitt Just One of Epic's Achilles' Heels; Miscast Star, Clunky Dialogue Plague 'Troy'

Article excerpt

Byline: Matt Soergel, The Times-Union

Brad Pitt strides purposefully across the big screen in Troy, newly pumped up and perfectly blond, striking the occasional heroic pose: He's Malibu Achilles, and the ancient world is his sandbox.

Pitt will help at the box office -- this is a movie with ample beefcake, and Pitt, who's often not wearing much of anything at all, is just one of the hunks on display. But he's miscast as the legendary Achilles; gorgeous, sure, but completely unconvincing.

He's always Brad Pitt, and there's nothing he can do about it, especially not with the clunky dialogue he has to work with here. So no matter how hard you try to suspend your disbelief, how much you try to really buy into the world Troy is selling, you just can't do it.

It remains just what it is: A movie that'll pass a couple of hours and then some.

Director Wolfgang Petersen's film isn't a total loss. Moderately exciting in parts, it all certainly looks and feels the part of a movie epic: huge, clashing armies; handsome, sweeping vistas; noble dialogue in English accents; much treachery and bravery.

But it's less Gladiator or Braveheart, those gritty and passionate and lived-in epics, and more like those old sword-and-sandal sagas that have not aged well.

Troy is "inspired" by Homer's The Iliad, which means they left out all the gods and concentrated on the human story. It starts 3,200 years ago, as Troy's womanizing prince, Paris (Orlando Bloom), visiting Greece with his brave brother, Hector (Eric Bana), steals the wife of old King Menelaus (Brendan Gleeson).

She is, of course, the beautiful Helen (Diane Kruger) -- and soon Menelaus and his power-hungry brother Agamemnon (fire-breathing Brian Cox) have launched a thousand ships to track her down and sack Troy while they're at it.

The Greeks have 50,000 men at their command, none greater than the seemingly invincible Achilles, now that he's figured out some Matrix moves. When first we meet him, he's late for a big showdown because he's still in what's apparently been a satisfying slumber with two beautiful women. So he's off to a good start. But then he gets far less interesting because he seems to fight only when he wants to, and for little discernible reason. …

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