Film Review: 300

jz5a6XaGz8Fk3uhnBGgIa0zYyfDj36k20168 Film Review: 300

” We Spartans have descended from Hercules himself. Taught never to retreat, never to surrender. Taught that death in the battlefield is the greatest glory he could achieve in his life. Spartans: the finest soldiers the world has ever known. ”

— King Leonidas

300 is the highly anticipated, bloody (and faithful, I’m told) adaption of Frank Miller’s graphic novel, directed by Zach Snyder, the kid who directed the remake of Dawn of the Dead with tons of energy and style.  He’s the right director for the job.

“300” concerns the 480 B.C. Battle of Thermopylae, where the King of Sparta led his army against the advancing Persians; the battle is said to have inspired all of Greece to band together against the Persians, and helped usher in the world’s first democracy, but to say a film with deformed whores, a feminine giant baddie and monsters, is historically accurate would be stretching things JUST a bit.  There is, indeed, an element of fantasy and Greek mythology to the proceedings (like a sort of ultra-violent Clash of the Titans).

The acting is mostly over the top but Gerald Butler is commanding and powerful as King Leonidas and he has some nice moments with the lovely Lena Headley as his strong-willed and supportive queen.  The King has no time for weak-willed politicians or the “boy lovers and cowards” of Athens.  This is a manly, macho testosterone fest…..and more than just a little homoerotic.  Some of the battles are like some kind of gladiator meets WWE bloodbath Smackdown, complete with limbs flying across the screen.  The visual effects are seamless and stunning and the battles are exciting and bloody, with CGI blood splattering across the scene like a living graphic novel.

The film is also the perfect length at around 2 hours.  It’s neither too long nor too short.  The story is definitely weaker than the visuals and it may not be on par with Sin City, but it’s a wild ride, shallow but very entertaining……..not a deep film, but not a dumb one either.

Grade:  B+

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