Without gods

The summer blockbuster Troy is neither as bad as it might be nor as stirring as it should be. As directed by Wolfgang Petersen (Das Boot), it is an entertaining display of sword-and-sandal heroism via the medium of modern movie technology. But since this is a story about the Trojans, Achilles and Hector, providing a decent adventure story is simply not enough. Give us an epic or don’t bother leaving the ships.

Since Homer’s Iliad doesn’t begin until the final year of the decade-long Trojan War and ends before the fall of Troy, screenwriter David Benioff borrows from other sources, most notably Virgil’s Aeneid, to complete his story. (Homer doesn’t reveal the news of Achilles’ death until the Odyssey, when Odysseus confronts Achilles’ soul in Hades.)


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