If you could measure a woman's beauty according shipbuilding, where drop dead gorgeous equals one thousand warships and ugly is a canoe, then the woman who plays the mythical Helen of Troy in the new Wolfgang Peterson film Troy, Diane Kruger, is probably worth something with an outboard motor, but no more. The arch of her eyebrows is considerably more masculine than that of Patroclus, the not at all gay "cousin" of Brad Pitt's Achilles. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) But Helen's beauty, or lack thereof, is only one of the many things wrong with this movie.
As far a summer blockbuster action goes, you will mostly get your money's worth. Director Wolfgang Peterson does a great job with the one to one combat. The final showdown between Hector and Achilles is beautifully choreographed. I've never seen spears and short swords handled better. The big set pieces with a cast of thousands, however, are handled with less skill. Impressive as it is to see an army of 50,000 Greeks laying siege to a city, the action is somewhat confusing to watch. At times, it is just too much helmet for eye to make sense of. Nevertheless, Troy serves up good battles. But you don't remake Homer's Iliad, one of the cornerstones of Western culture, because you want more of the blood sport that made Conan the Barbarian so much fun. There has to be more. And that's where the movie falls apart. Whenever the movie leaves the field of combat, the drama is painfully thin and contrived with too many scenes of ACTING, master thespian ACTING. Entire scenes collapse under the weight of their own ponderous seriousness.
I don't want to beat up on the actors too badly, because I've seen many of them do wonderful things in other movies, and they are certainly selling the material here for all it's worth. The culprit is the script by David Benioff. He has taken the major plot arch of the Iliad, the wrath of Achilles and his grudge match with Hector, but unwisely ditched the unity of time and setting that made the Iliad a coherent work.