A vigorous spin on the glorious excesses of classic sword-and-sandal epics, Wolfgang Petersen's stripped-down chronicle of the 10-year Trojan War is fatally undermined by golden boy Brad Pitt's reduction of legendary warrior Achilles to a sullen fame whore with to-die-for cheekbones. Screenwriter David Benioff pares away the supporting players, reshuffles the chronology of key events and ditches the meddlesome Olympians whose caprices drive the twists and turns of Homer's epic poem, The Iliad
(plus a smidgen of The Aeneid
), in favor of a thoroughly earthbound path to war. Trojan princes Hector (Eric Bana) and Paris (Orlando Bloom) are sent by their fat...