3 1/2 Stars
A throw back to the Hollywood sword & sandal epics from the 1950’s & 60’s. Lavish production design and glamorous looking stars are cast in the mythical Greek roles, the lengthy script by David Benioff is gracefully handled by veteran director Wolfgang Petersen. Smart casting keeps characters visually identifiable even when names and ancient lands becomes a bit much to keep up with.
Pitt; sporting a buffed physique and long blonde mane is the weakest link in a uniformly strong cast. Although, I don’t think the blame lays entirely with his interpretation of legendary warrior ‘Achilles’. It’s just that his character’s arc is the least interesting, especially when compared to the goings on between Greek hero ‘Hector’ and his father the King (nicely played by Peter ‘O Toole).
The sweeping score by James Horner gives the film a grandiose feeling, even when very little is actually going on. Just the right mix of political maneuvering, war strategizing and epic battle sequences to make up for a protracted 160 minute running time. The climatic battle between Hector (Bana), and Achilles (Pitt) is the film’s high-point.
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