I put up an article here a while back, Day of the Dead: Why Captain Rhodes was the good guy, where I said that in that 1985 movie, the so-called antagonist was actually the protagonist. He was facing insubordination from scientist leftists who were not only undermining his authority but breaching the security of the complex, putting everyone’s lives at risk. And indeed… half the cast wound up dead, with the last man in the bunker being a defiant Rhodes!
I would like to make a similar contention about another movie. Troy from the year 2004 has two villains, Brian Cox as Agamemnon and Brendan Gleeson as his brother, Menelaus. In the movie they are ridiculed as villains. But really, these were the good guys.
Let’s look at how the movie opens. Brian Cox shows mercy to a rival army, less powerful, by agreeing to settle the battle with a one-vs-one battle (Brad Pitt vs. Nathan Jones). This is incredible sportsmanship! Otherwise, it would’ve been a good day for the crows, and not at the expense of Brian Cox’s men. And yet to show further tolerance, Pitt’s character (Achilles) shows up and insults his king. If that were me, Pitt wouldn’t have lasted the week. He would’ve turned up missing in action, men sometimes just quietly ‘disappear’. This tolerance of Pitt’s insubordination goes on throughout the movie.
“Gleeson invites Eric Bana and his effete brother Orlando Bloom over to celebrate their new friendship by throwing a party. And what does Bloom do as thanks? Goes upstairs and fucks Gleeson’s wife!”
Later in the opening act, the brothers, more powerful than the leaders of other rivals Troy, agree to initiate an era of peace. Gleeson invites Eric Bana and his effete brother Orlando Bloom over to celebrate their new friendship by throwing a party. And what does Bloom do as thanks? Goes upstairs and fucks Gleeson’s wife! Right under his nose. Worse, he effectively kidnaps her and leaves for Troy! Eric Bana is complicit.
When this cowardly son of a bitch initiates a full blown war, we’re supposed to dislike the two brothers for attacking Troy?
Then, further into the movie as the battle begins in earnest, men of honour Cox and Gleeson once again agree to settle the dispute, man on man, Gleeson vs. Bloom, as opposed to the annihilation of Bana’s forces. And sure enough, Gleeson humiliates Bloom. As he is about to finish the pissant off per the agreement, Eric Bana’s Hector pulls a sucker move and interferes in the fight, stabbing Gleeson in the gut. Then retreating to the safety of his army. These are not the actions of manly men!
In the end, it is clear that the Greeks were the heroes and the Trojans were girlie-men. Wife-stealing cheats is what they were. And Agamemnon? Probably what today’s liberals would call a ‘progressive’. Any other leader would have hanged colossal pissant Brad Pitt, then annihilated Troy (walls are made to be besieged) without losing the respect of anyone. Some might say Achilles was also too powerful to kill, without causing potential discontent in the army. But that is why men ‘disappear’, you see. Or conveniently die gallantly in battle.
Next time you watch this movie, especially if you’ve never liked it, I’d advise placing yourself in the shoes of Agememnon The Merciful and Menelaus The Honorable. It’ll make it much easier to watch. It was underrated anyhow, if you ask me…