An Iceman Review
What a piece of work is man and what a load of crap is Troy -- a two hundred million dollar gold brick of a movie is still a bloody brick of a movie! Sorry, some of what follows proceeds under the haze of the first bottle I could lay my hands upon fleeing the theatre -- the Iceman sincerely wishes he had grabbed it before he went to the multiplex. Looking at the film in stark sobriety is a fate he wishes on no one. Had Schliemann seen the film he would have left the fabled city buried.
Had the film been cut of cleaner cloth it would have been an amusing enough diversion--there is Pitt for the lassies (and I imagine for a few of the lads) and Orlando Bloom to assure prepubescent admissions and the cagey Peter O' Toole and Brian Cox to add a bit of class to an otherwise lackluster affair. But these pleasures aside, there is the prickly fact of an author named Homer and a marginally esteemed poem called the Iliad. If memory serves the Iceman well (an arguably dubious proposition) the Trojan War raged over a period of ten years. The whole of the Iliad transpires during a 47 day period at the end of that decade. As Peterson and company would have it, the war and Achilles battle with Hector occupied a few days after the Greek fleet landed on Ilium's star-crossed shore.
Homer would have had no patience with Hollywood endings. He leaves the episode of the Trojan Horse out of the Iliad, altogether. And then there's that little lapse concerning Agamemnon. The thirteen years olds cheered when the dastardly king was skewered at the film's conclusion. We have, however, the little wrinkle of a piece by Aeschylus. Some of you might remember his Orestia. This was a trilogy that predated the recently celebrated adventures of Frodo and Aragorn. Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Eumenides have, as well, been well celebrated and one might suggest even a tad influential down the millennia. The heady concept of blood revenge, threading through generations, stems from double dealings, backstabbings and a pie that only Cox, the original Hannibal Lecter, might enjoy at the house of Atreus. The problem we have here folks is simply that if Agamemnon dies at Troy then he doesn't get offed by the lovely Clytmenystra upon his return to Mycenae. If not killed by his wife, Orestes and Electra would have little taste or motivation for the crime of matricide and Orestes would have no cause to be pursued by the furies. But who reads an old fart like Homer in today's demographics? He was blind, so he probably got the story wrong, anyway! Dear me, Messy Messy ...
Enough, already! Troy is truly not worth the cyber space this rant is occupying. If you want a genuine Trojan hero drop a nickel on Jon Vickers' performance of Aeneas from a work by a genuine Hector -- any five minutes of the score to Les Troyens puts the whole of Troy to laughable shame. When Achilles' ass is more lovingly photographed than the face that launched a thousand ships you know you're entitled to another drink -- Go see Hellboy -- at least Perlman ain't no sissy.