Hey folks, Harry here... well here we go, one of the biggies... Seems Warner Brothers actually did a test screening of TROY on Thursday night, and it sounds like... at this stage, it is a helluva movie. Sounds very hard R. Will Warners and Robinov have the backbone to let Wolfgang keep the film at this level, or will they sanitize it, sandblast it and generally make the film limp and flaccid? Let us hope something close to what Bonk of 37 here saw is what we get this May. Let's hope that others at the screening felt the same way and maybe Warners will actually give us a great film this Summer!!! Here's hoping!
Hey Harry, the Bonk of 37 here with a review of the first screened cut of TROY, the new Wolfgang Peterson film scheduled for release on May 14. The long and short of it before I get down to the meat and potatoes is that the Warner execs were aiming for PG-13 Gladiator, and in the end they made a heck of a good movie. I really really liked it.
The cut they showed was said to be the very first shown to audiences. The special effects weren't finished, and the music was from Starship Troopers and Pearl Harbor. This cut was three hours long, but what will be released will more than likely be 2h15 to 2h30 minutes long. Three Warner execs and Wolfgang Peterson were there, so that made it even cooler.
Here's the story, so there are some minor spoilers ahead, but to anyone familiar with Homer's The Iliad, this is nothing new. On the verge of peace, Hector and Paris of Troy (Eric Bana from Hulk and Orlando Bloom a.k.a. Legolas) celebrate with new friend the King of Sparta (Brendan Gleeson from Lake Placid, Cold Mountain, etc.). Paris is a stupid little pretty boy who decides to sleep with and steal away the Spartan King's wife, Helen (the very yummy and super duper delicious hottie Diane Kruger), and return to Troy with Helen as his tasty treat of a girlfriend. Naturally, jealousy and hatred ensue.
Well, mostly all-out pissed rage and bloody, violent combat than jealousy and hatred. The King of Spartan's brother is conqueror Agmemnon (brutish and commanding Brian Cox, great as ever), who has "united" the kingdoms and armies of Greece through diplomacy and battles. He has always wanted Troy to fall under his power, so he has his best warrior Achilles (Brad Pitt) and all his armies sent to Troy to take back Helen and rule Troy by force.
My initial reaction to Troy was much like how I reacted to The House of Sand and Fog. Both sides are portrayed fully, the "good" side of Troy and the "bad" side of Sparta, so that neither truly seems like the good or bad guys, or the "right" or "true" victors. Both sides are right and both are wrong, but in turn it makes it difficult to root for or against any particular character, with few exceptions. First, Eric Bana. Don't let the advertising fool you, this is his movie. His character of Hector is a great man, brave and scared, strong willed and determined but realistic, the most realized and well written character. He is known now, but this movie will make him a star. Second is Brian Cox. Boy, what an asshole of a character. A scenery-chewing, screaming tyrant. And he looks good with long hair, surprisingly.
The third is Achilles. Brad Pitt is not necessarily the main character of the movie. He is in it as much as the others, and has a less developed character. He is Darth Maul with a conscious, a super badass with tunnel vision. He has one scene of wisdom, one of fucking, one of emotion, and the rest is all badass super fighting. But when he fights, he kicks some serious ass. Whew! Imagine Neo not fighting like a pussy in Matrix Reloaded and actually using a sword to stab people and you have an idea. And the coolest part? Very little reliance on computer effects and editing that doesn't give you a headache. His fights are wonderfully choreographed and incredibly fast. To reiterate: He kicks serious ass. That boy can fight.
Speaking of fighting...remember how Warner said they wanted PG-13? Well, there is no way in hell this movie is PG-13, with all of the spurting blood, staffs through the head, stabbings, hangings, and all around bloody fighting, not to mention the pubic revelations of both Pitt and Orlando Bloom and the sweet, sweet, amazingly scrumptious, yummy yummy yummy tits and ass of Diane Jruger....hot damn! That girl looks good naked! Anyway, there will be some major trimming if they don't expect the R rating.
Oh, and about Legolas...yeah, he is entirely pointless. Ignore the third billing. Aside from setting the story in motion in the beginning, Bloom is hardly in the movie. He serves no purpose. He is set dressing at the least and a plot devise at the best. Twice in the film his actions set up the storyline for the other characters but leave him with nothing to do. It is a thankless role. In fact, his character and relationship with the the other characters in the film is its biggest fault. Hopefully they'll trim a bit of him from the movie. Him, and the whiny little brat who plays Achilles' cousin and essentially creates the reason Achilles fights the Trojans. You know how it works, the same thing that's been done to death before: younger character idolizes older stronger character, picks a fight, comes back dead, and viola! Motivation and emotional response for the lead character.)
Despite the sweet Helen of Troy tit shot and heavy violence, it's the subtlety in Eric Bana's performance and the quiet moments of Achilles in thought or talking with the royal priestess that make the movie that much more enjoyable. These types of moments keep the movie from entering the pool of recent military movies that substitute battles in place of storyline, a la Black Hawk Down, Tears of the Sun, or We Were Soldiers.
Last but not least, Peter O'Toole still rules. The look on his face when he sees the size of the Spartan army marching on Troy...classic. Truly classic.
Overall, a damn good movie. I can't wait to see it with finished effects and music that fits better. And here's to hoping those brutal fight scenes and sweet ass titties stay in the picture. :-)
Call me Bonk of 37.