Just a warning: I am totally going to mention where this deviates substantially from Homer. Not just to bitch about it, but to show why things don’t work when you change them too much.
I guess it sounds better than “a dusty depressing production.”
Then we get a title card over a static map of Greece, which is supposed to fill us in quickly. I would have preferred they ditch this and just have a narrated introduction like in Lord of the Rings. This thing is three fucking hours long and has a LOT of backstory, so it really could use more than fifteen seconds of backstory. It’s like they’re rushing to show Brad Pitt, and damn the story.
Oh, and this is the Director’s Cut I’m looking at. So if you saw the theatrical cut, it may have a bit more stuff in it. Yes, including more boobs.
3200 YEARS AGO
… two weeks before the first issue of Time.
And here we have our first problem:
- Show, don’t tell. Pretty much all of this is demonstrated in the movie, making most of this text crawl pointless.
- The one exception is that crap about Achilles’ disdain for Agamemnon’s rule (WHY is never explained). Seriously, one pissy warrior is enough to destroy an entire alliance?
- But as you’ll quickly learn, this movie does not bother with silly things like logic.
So we fade into a deserty area where a dog is wandering, showing what had better be CGI ribs. But oh noes! It passes SHIELDS and SPEARS and HELMETS which are all bloody, and even a dead horse. And finally it runs into a little crevasse and finds the corpse of its master, which is being picked at by crows. It chases the crows away and licks the man’s face sadly.
Enjoy that. The dog is the most likable person in the movie.
Men are haunted by the vastness of eternity.
Is that a pretentious way of saying, “I can’t believe my vacation is over already”?
Oh, and I hope you like walking. Lots of walking. This entire opening scene is of two armies… slowly… walking… towards each other. In real time. And you can’t really tell which army is which.
This is not even helped by the fact that the Greek army walks like they have full diapers.
And so we ask ourselves…
“Where DID my socks go?”
… will our actions echo across the centuries?
Hopefully not all of them, or there are a lot of people who will be known for centuries as serial masturbators.
Will strangers hear our names long after we’re gone…
Well, when the sequel story is all about you, there’s a pretty good chance of it… ODYSSEUS.
… and wonder who we were, how bravely we fought…
How long we walked without taking a pee break.
… how fiercely we loved?
Not if you’re bisexual or have a wife who only appears in the Odyssey.
Oh, and by the way… Odysseus is not in this scene. And this scene is not in the Iliad.
Then the kings from both sides ride up to each other in chariots, looking like their armor chafes something awful. Oh, and the king of Thessaly is played by Julian Glover, aka Donovan from the third Indiana Jones movie. The character’s name is Triopas, but nobody ever says it in the movie and I don’t think he really does anything after this scene.
Good day for the crows.
I told you yesterday and I’ll tell you again today.
“If you don’t give me back my hedge clippers, I’ll call the neighborhood watch association on you!”
Remove your army from my land.
I like your land. I think we’ll stay. I like your soldiers too. They fought bravely yesterday. Not well, but bravely.
I know I’m supposed to hate Agamemnon, but he’s kind of a fun character. He’s got that Brian Blessed loudness thing going on, and he’s so arrogantly casual that he ends up being funny.
Hell, he’s the only intentionally funny character in the whole movie.
They won’t fight for you.
That’s what the Messenians said. And the Arcadians and the Epeians. Now they all fight for me.
“So statistically speaking, there’s a pretty good chance they WILL fight for me.”
It’s like he can’t commit to one hairstyle. Dude, if you’re gonna dread, then DREAD. If you’re gonna have a mullet, just go with it.
You can’t have the whole world, Agamemnon. It’s too big, even for you.
“Plus, we haven’t discovered the New World, and there are a LOT of people over there that wouldn’t like you. And there’s Australia…”
I don’t want to watch another massacre. Let’s settle this war in the old manner. Your best fighter against my best.
… was that a custom? I mean, I don’t know a lot about ancient Greece, but… I don’t really remember one-on-one fights taking the place of wars. I mean, they had LOTS of wars.
And wait, they both marched their armies out into the middle of nowhere… just to say, “Hey, we’re not gonna actually fight or anything. We just need spectators.” Wouldn’t it make slightly more sense for Agamemnon to make this offer FIRST?
And if my man wins?
We’ll leave Thessaly for good.
“And by ‘for good,’ I mean until Tuesday.”
I’m a generous man. If mine wins, you can keep your throne, but Thessaly falls under my command, to fight with me whenever I call.
So… he went to war not to be KING, but just to have people back him up. You are making Alexander the Great’s head hurt.
See that expression? That is the expression of a man trying, and failing, to understand your logic.
If this seems like a really weird and stupid way of handling things, that’s because… it wasn’t in the book. In the myths, Odysseus was one of Helen of Troy’s suitors, although he really wasn’t that interested. And he came up with the idea that all of the suitors would promise to unite together and defend Helen’s husband, because that way none of them would try to attack him to get Helen for himself.
Yeah, it’s contrived, and probably most guys wouldn’t agree to that if they were the losers… but it makes more sense than this.
Yelled with a smirk that could eat Tokyo.
And then… this guy comes out.
Don’t worry! The Greeks have a little shepherd guy with a rock!
This is my man.
Not kidding. There’s just a long, awkward silence, and the Thessalonians start snickering because… well, nobody’s coming forward to fight.
Boagrius has this effect on many heroes.
Careful who you insult, old king.
- Old? He’s like five years older than you!
- And wait, why is he offended that Triopas is calling ACHILLES a wimp?
- Or is he implying that Achilles would beat up a guy old enough to be his grandfather?
- What a hero!
And then a messenger comes scampering up.
My king, Achilles is not with the army.
Where is he?
I sent a boy to look for him.
… wait… what? You were planning to make a mano-a-mano offer to Triopas… and didn’t make sure that the guy you wanted to fight was actually there? HOW STUPID ARE YOU?
This is made even stupider because… this is THE warrior that everybody pins victory on. He’s not a noob who’s just very talented – this is a guy who is WELL KNOWN to be the best warrior in the entire world. And they ALSO know that he doesn’t respect anybody, especially Agamemnon. AND they know that he doesn’t give a shit about any of Agamemnon’s little wars to prove how big his kingly dick is.
… and yet it didn’t occur to ANYBODY to make sure that he was with the army?!
So we see a preteen boy running through the Greek camp, probably praying that Achilles doesn’t decide to give him some Greek Love before heading off to battle. Well, there’s little chance of that in this movie, because he finds Achilles literally butt-naked with two girls.
I was having a good dream.
00:07:15,751 –> 00:07:17,169
Very good dream.
00:07:18,086 –> 00:07:21,798
King Agamemnon sent me.
He needs to…
00:07:21,965 –> 00:07:24,092
I’ll speak to your king in the morning.
00:07:24,259 –> 00:07:27,179
But, my lord, it is morning.
00:07:28,805 –> 00:07:31,016
They’re waiting for you.
00:07:45,822 –> 00:07:48,075
Are the stories about you true?
00:07:49,910 –> 00:07:52,704
They say your mother is
an immortal goddess.
00:07:54,414 –> 00:07:55,999
They say you can’t be killed.
00:07:56,166 –> 00:07:59,044
I wouldn’t be bothering
with the shield then, would I?
00:07:59,211 –> 00:08:01,546
<i>The Thessalonian you’re fighting…</i>
00:08:01,713 –> 00:08:06,051
<i>…he’s the biggest man I’ve ever seen.
I wouldn’t want to fight him.</i>
00:08:08,345 –> 00:08:10,972
That’s why no one will remember