Category: 300 Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: March 2, 2007 | Publication: DVD Wolf | Author: Jay Clarke
Starring: Lena Headey
Synopsis: Based on Frank Miller's graphic novel about the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C.
I recently attended a preview screening of 300 in Toronto. When the lights came up I did something Iíd never done before. I yelled out ďPlay it again!Ē. 300 is amazing. I have nothing bad to say about it other than it was too short.
Having no knowledge of Frank Millerís graphic novel, I canít say if it is as close an adaptation as Sin City, but my gut tells me THEY KEPT THE GOOD PARTS IN. I think 300 has cemented Miller as a mainstay that filmmakers will be mining material from for years to come. Iím definitely on board for his next adaptation, Ronin.
What can I say about the visuals? Iíll spare you the barrage of superlatives and just state that the trailers donít do it justice. As for the sound mix, if there was ever a movie that was meant to be experienced in IMAX, 300 is it. The music by Tyler Bates is fantastic. He is quickly moving to the forefront of composers with an already impressive resume of genre films. The familiar Zimmer-inspired classical pieces give way to contemporary electric guitar and hard drums for a score that has a life of its own.
Going in, my biggest fear was that Gerard Butler and company would chew the scenery so much it would become a joke, but that was not the case. Butler as King Leonidas is so invested in the character that HE BELIEVES and therefore, so will you. There are some really great lines in 300, which is another testament to the strength of the source material. The pace is also very good, nicely balancing the battlefield with scenes back in Sparta of the Queen (Lena Headey) mired in the politics of her husbandís unpopular decision to go to war.
Now, let's move onto the meat of the sword and sandal epic; the action scenes. You know how big battle scenes in movies are usually close up, chaotic and disorienting, so you canít really get a sense of whatís going on? 300 is the exact opposite. Director Zack Snyder Ė who has taken an immeasurable leap from his serviceable debut Dawn of the Dead - slows things down so you can see every move, every slice and every drop of blood. There are entire sequences done like this. In my opinion, Gladiator is the current standard of the genre. When showing off my home theatre, it is invariably one of the DVDís I play for its opening battle scene. In six months, Iíll likely be reaching for a new DVD on such occasions.
In my top 10 most anticipated films of 2007, I put 300 at #4. All Iíve got to say to Spiderman 3, Transformers and Grindhouse is you better bring your A-game because youíre going to have to be something special to compete with this.