Troy is a big-screen spectacle - the kind of sweeping historical blockbuster whose popularity has been revived by the success of Gladiator. At its centre is a love story between Paris, Prince of Troy (Orlando Bloom) and Helen, Queen of Sparta (Diane Kruger) whose face is the one that, as legend has it, launched a thousand ships. Anyone who has seen the trailer for this movie will notice that its makers have taken that phrase quite literally.
Those ships are vessels of war - a war that lasts ten years and which has been inflamed by the passion of the two lovers. In 1193 BC, Paris steals Helen from her husband, King Menelaus (Brendan Gleeson), an insult of epic proportions that provokes Menelaus brother, Agamemnon (Brian Cox), king of the Myceneans, to unite the tribes of Greece in a mighty war against Troy.
Agamemnon sees this not only as a an act of honour but as a chance to expand his already vast empire by taking Troy - a feat that has thus far proved impossible. A seemingly impregnable walled city, Troy is ruled by King Priam (Peter OToole) and defended by Prince Hector (Eric Bana).
Considered the greatest warrior in the world, the arrogant and rebellious Achilles (Brad Pitt) swears allegiance to no one, but he is the only man alive who may lead Agamemnon to victory over Troy. But an even greater secret weapon comes in the shape of a giant wooden horse, a gift that holds a surprise that will prove to be the citys downfall