There's nothing wrong with Pitt that I can put into words, except he just didn't have "it" for Achilles
Are you kidding? Pitt was perfect for the role.
There's a couple of things that need to be understood about Achilles before evaluating who should play him. First, he's a total a-hole. I mean grade A, first-class a-hole. The only thing heroic about him is his fighting ability. He looks better, fights better and his lines in the Iliad are delivered just as over-the-top as in the movie: "There are no bargains between lions and men," for example.
You don't find a blue-collar, gritty type of individual to play him like Russell Crowe. You get the guy all the girls love who doesn't give a shite. Brad Pitt. A superstar to play a superstar. I thought he was spot-on for Achilles.
"Troy" isn't a bad movie. But it's not great. Why?
In my opinion, it tries to do too much. The beauty of the Iliad is that the story is very simple. It is the story of anger, and the cost of it. The Iliad ends with the death of Hector, and that's where this movie should have ended, too. Don't work in the Trojan horse and all that.
Instead, pump up Hector. Pump up Achilles' relationship with Patroclus. Make the audience know what a good guy Hector really was, and make them feel like shite when a prick like Achilles ends his noble life. Don't make Achilles the sympathetic figure here. He's not the sympathy character in the book. He's an angry, prideful killing machine.
Hector is the heart and soul of the Iliad.
Read the Iliad when you are 18 and you will discover the wonder of Achilles. Read the Iliad when you are 35 and you will know the tragedy of Hector. Women shouldn't be weeping when Achilles dies at the end, like the movie attempts to do. Everyone should be disappointed that Hector, as excellent as he is... loving father and husband, loyal brother, devoted son, humble before the gods, excellent in battle, revered among his people... is slaughtered by an unfeeling, immature butcher of men. And here's the kicker - Hector, as awesome a fighter as he is... knows he stands no chance. He does his duty anyway.
Now that's a story. But it's not scripted the way it should be in the movie.