I love the movie Troy, okay? It’s one of my favorite movies and I’m not ashamed to admit it. And even though I know the sword and sandals epic starring Brad Pitt is no Spartacus, if you were to ask me, “Would you rather watch Troy or Spartacus?” 10 times out of 10 I’m picking Troy. And Spartacus is by my favorite director, Stanley Kubrick, no less. But I don’t care! Troy is just so immensely enjoyable that I could probably view it at least once a week and not get tired of it. I enjoy it that much!
Now, look. I understand that Troy is not necessarily a masterpiece. In fact, I wouldn’t even say it’s a “good” movie if you’re comparing it to something like Gladiator. But while Apocalypse Now is my favorite movie of all time, Big Trouble in Little China is my second favorite movie of all time. So, I will take cheese and silly wigs right alongside my super serious dramas, thank you very much. And if you also love Troy (or any movie that most people deem to be “just okay”), then let me know in the comments section down below. I love hearing people talk about movies that they personally love that most other people just kind of shrug off. So, here are 5 reasons why Troy is one of my all-time favorite movies.
Brad Pitt Makes For A Perfect Achilles
I actually got the inspiration to write this article since I just finished reading Madeline Miller’s excellent novel, The Song of Achilles. That book is actually told from the perspective of Achilles’ possibly gay lover, Patroclus (who is definitely gay in the book, but only possibly gay in The Iliad, and definitely not gay in the movie. Did you get all that?). But the story of Homer’s Iliad makes Achilles out to be this badass hero, and he’s pretty much this (almost) invincible powerhouse who even the gods take great pride in. So, with that said, I honestly couldn’t think of any other Hollywood actor who could play such a towering figure than Brad Pitt. I mean, he’s perfect for the role! When he screams, “Immortality! Take it! It’s yours!” I feel that, man. Like, right in my soul.
And yes, I know. Brad Pitt didn’t even like the role and said it marked a turning point in his career since he didn't want to do anything like it ever again. But you sure wouldn’t know it from his performance. He sneers, he mugs, he laughs, he does it all in this picture. Plus, he got in peak physical shape for this role. There’s none of that skinny muscular Tyler Durden look from Fight Club here. No, no. He’s like, pure beefcake in this movie, and I can respect him for that. Dude got brolic. Brad Pitt kicks ass in this film! And even if he didn’t care about the role, I sure do.
Nobody Chews Scenery Like Brian Cox
I often wonder who chews scenery better: Anthony Hopkins or Brian Cox? And while I’d probably give the edge to Sir. Anthony Hopkins, I would definitely say that Brian Cox has a real feast when it comes to Troy. He plays the power-hungry King Agamemnon with aplomb.
Every scene he’s in he dominates. Agamemnon is really a callous jerk with hubris to spare in the poem, but Brian Cox somehow makes him menacing in the movie. When he looks at Hector, played by Eric Bana and tells him that “every son of Troy… shall diiiie,” it doesn’t just sound like some idle threat. It sounds like he’s ready to massacre every last male in town. Plus, along with Peter O'Toole, he really classes up the picture.
It Leaves The Gods Out Of The Battle, Making For A More Realistic Approach To The Famous Epic Poems
Both Homer’s The Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid feature the gods in a major way. And it’s super annoying! For instance, there’s a part in The Iliad where Paris (played by Orlando Bloom in the movie) is supposed to fight Agamemnon’s younger brother, Menelaus (played by Brendan Gleeson). And just before Menelaus can kill Paris, Aphrodite swoops in and rescues him, which is a total cop out. I mean, come on, Homer! Nobody likes a deus ex machina!
But the movie is very different. In fact, many of the kings in the film believe that the gods are going to save them. But pragmatic Hector keeps telling them that they need to think rationally here, but nobody listens to him. And I just love that approach to the story and I think it makes the tale that much stronger.
The Set Pieces Are Actually Still Quite Stunning
And then, you have the set pieces. There are so many raised shields and slashed swords, and you never get lost in the combat. Instead, it’s all staged beautifully, and the epic moments are meant to feel epic, while the quieter moments definitely get their time to shine.
In a lot of films like this, the fights just move way too quickly and you only get a sense of the size and scale of battle. But in Troy, every fight feels meaningful. Every death feels worthy of being up on that screen. You can hate the acting or the dialogue all you want in this movie, but I don’t see how it’s possible to hate the action set pieces and scenery. They’re fantastic!
Troy Is Actually A Great Companion Piece To Two Of The Greatest Epic Poems In History
And lastly, Troy is a really great companion piece to both The Iliad and The Aeneid. Sure, it takes its liberties (the Trojan Horse is not in The Iliad, but it is in The Aeneid), but if you happened to read both of poems and then watched this movie, then you can get a great deal out of this film and appreciate it all the more so.
In fact, I would even say that Troy is a much watch if you’re interested in the Sack of Troy. It’s different enough (Because of the lack of gods) but also follows the story closely enough that you get to see it all from an almost entirely different perspective. Again, I just really love this movie and will find any excuse to watch it over and over again. And if making it seem like it’s historically relevant is a way to get me to watch it again, then I’m going to make it seem historically relevant! So, watch Troy! And show it in schools, why don’tcha? The kids will probably like it. Or maybe they won’t. I don’t know. I seem to be the only person who really loves this movie.
Or maybe I’m not! What do you think of Troy? Do you love it as much as I do? Sound off in the comments section down below or in the poll either way!
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Lover of Avatar (The Last Airbender, not the blue people), video games, and anything 90s, he will talk your ear off about Godzilla, so don't get him started.
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