Story by: Jack Foley
THE world premiere of the epic movie, Troy, took place in Berlin
on Sunday, when thousands of screaming fans turned out to mob
its main star, Brad Pitt, and a 10-metre high wooden Trojan horse
was built in its honour.
The eagerly-anticipated film, starring Pitt as Achilles, debuted
in the home country of the film's director, Wolfgang Peterson,
one week ahead of its US release (on May 14), and its debut at
the Cannes Film Festival.
The CineStar cinema played host to the event, which was also
attended by the films co-stars.
A press conference held before the premiere was also held, at
which Pitt told journalists that he thought the skirt look from
the film would catch on.
The star also admitted to realising the irony that he had injured
his Achilles tendon while making the movie, in Malta and Mexico.
"Maybe it was the Gods getting angry with me," he joked.
The film is based on Homers epic poem, The Iliad, and opens
in the UK on May 21, following previews from the previous weekend
and an exclusive presentation at the Odeon Leicester Square.
Once the dust had settled, and the final verdicts had been delivered,
it seems Troy fared quite well with US critics, despite some notable
expressions of disappointment from some of the leading publications.
USA Today found it to be ‘a gripping,
well-told adaptation of one of the oldest human dramas’,
while the Philadelphia Inquirer observed that ‘when the
film focuses on the Trojans, it's splendid. But when Troy attempts
to sort out the competing agendas of the Greeks, it drags’.
The New York Times, meanwhile, wrote that ‘this
big, expensive, intermittently campy example of Hollywood Homerism
is desperate to be regarded as a classic. It isn't, but it's not
so bad either’.
And the Minneapolis Star Tribune declared that
‘the opening scene involves two thousand-man armies marching
determinedly toward each other across a field the size of Rhode
Island. And that's one of the more modest battles’.
The Chicago Tribune, meanwhile, described it
as being ‘in a league with Hollywood's top historical epics,
ancient or otherwise’.
Less impressed, was the Los Angeles Times, which
opined that ‘although screenwriter Benioff's attempt to
make the dialogue contemporary is sincere enough, the final product
is flat and soap opera-like more often than not’.
While Entertainment Weekly dismissed it as ‘a
pageant long but not deep, noisy but not stirring, expensive but
But E! Online wrote that ‘it's basically
a long-ish, well-crafted epic, thanks to a timeless story that
even Tinseltown can't find a way to mess up’.
And Efilmcritic.com felt that ‘there are
well-hewn and deeply engaging character shadings that capably
fortify the moments between Troy's astounding action sequences’.
Newsday, meanwhile, declared that ‘it
does possess the aura of the ancient - at least within the parameters
of the Hollywood epic’.
The Hollywood Reporter described it as a protracted
and uninvolving affair in which men battle over issues that audiences
may struggle to find compelling, and no central figure emerges
to take command of the film.
While Variety felt that despite a sensationally
attractive cast and an array of well-staged combat scenes presented
on a vast scale, Petersen's highly telescoped rendition of the
Trojan War lurches ahead in fits and starts for much of its hefty
running time, to OK effect.
But there were positives, with Rolling Stone declaring
that Troy, besides being tremendously entertaining, is the
best crib-sheet guide to Homer ever.
And Time Magazine stating that this is The Iliad
as a WWE SmackDown: violent fights, snappy insults and a connoisseur's
idolatry of beautiful brawn.
The British Museum is to stage an exhibition to tie-in with the
release of Troy.
Discover Troy opens on Wednesday (May 12) at the
central London museum and will feature weapons from the Greek
Bronze Age, alongside Greek vases and plaques.
In an event designed to rival the success of the Lord of the
Rings exhibition, at the Science Museum, five costumes from the
film, as worn by stars like Brad Pitt and Peter O'Toole will also
be on display.
It also forms part of the museum's Greek Summer programme.
A number of special events have also been lined up, including
Troy Day, on June 19, which will explore the making
of Wolfgang Petersen's film, with a speech by his son, Daniel,
who has followed the production since its inception.