Movie Review: 300

Category: 300 Reviews | Posted by: admin
Article Date: March 10, 2007 | Publication: IESB.Net | Author: Michael Dayspring
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Back in 1998 Steven Spielberg dropped us right into the battle of Normandy with an unflinching look at the horrors of war and solidarity between the men chosen to fight an insurmountable enemy. Since then many have tried to duplicate it and few have ever been able to hits those levels.

Nearly ten years later Zach Synder takes us right into the graphic novel version of Frank Millers story about a much more dire battle as 300 Spartans faced certain death in the Battle of Thermopylae. A few addition or changes aside this is a film straight out of Frank Miller�s brain, the look of it, the feel of it, and even the tone of it. It�s all there in spades on the screen. It's eye candy for violent yet meaningful story telling and it is glorious.

Meet The Spartans:
Gerald Butler is an actor that has paid his dues, for years he�s been taking on roles of all sorts and some how beat Hollywood at its own game of type casting. The guy can play low life thugs, kings of men, video game action heroes, blood sucking vampires, the man of your dreams, and even singing Phantoms. He�s like Visa; �He�s everywhere you want to be� Stepping into the role of King Leonidas was not going to be an easy task. He had to achieve the physical look of Leonidas and the combat skills to turn him into a Spartan. Check and double check. From the first time we see him on screen he�s never Gerald Butler..he IS King Leonidas, the born warrior king of Sparta. His every action and line commands respect�even if he slips from time to time between accents.

Lena Headly has been around for quite awhile making her rise to play Queen Gorgo. If she wasn�t a household name before this she certainly will be soon and more so when she hits TV stepping into the role of Sarah Connor. You can add Lena�s Queen Gorgo to the lists of strong female roles, she�s a caring mother, a good leader, and she could probably give Ripley (Aliens) a run for her money in hand to hand combat (provided Ripley doesn�t have an air lock to throw her out of)�and YES to top this off she has one of the hottest sex scenes of the decade�THANK YOU IMAX!

David Wenham is the new Wedge Antilles! He�s found himself staring death in the face as Faramir, Carl, and now Dilios. He was also in The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course and somehow he survived them all. A feat only an Antilles could pull off. It�s Wenham who provides the narration through out 300 as well as some fierce fighting along side Leonidas. He is the glue of the story and a great choice as the voice of Sparta.

The Enemy:
Rodrigo Santoro was in this movie? Oh my god! He�s 12 feet tall, looks like Gold Dust from WWF and calls himself Xerxes. Some how �Whoa� just doesn�t quite cover it. Xerxes is a conqueror of man and self proclaimed god of gods. When he takes his world tour towards Sparta he finds that he has made a grave error, one that over time would spell the end of his massive ego. Rodrigo is so well hidden in this role that you just don�t see him, its mind boggling, impressive and down right creepy.

The Score:
What a perfect score to accompany the film! You wouldn�t expect a hard rock score to fit a story told about ancient Sparta. Thinking about it conjures memories of Cop Rock; two things that just don�t go together logically. Thankfully it works here and brings the film to full tilt. You can imagine Frank Miller actually wrote the book whilst this pulse pounding beat assaulted his ear drums.

The look:
It�s interesting that two of the best adaptations making the jump from graphic novel to film are both Frank Miller pieces. Sure it might be because he tells his stories in just a cinematic way, or that unlike icons like Superman there�s not fifty years of history to bog it down and give fanboys (and girls) so much to rip apart.

Zack took the vision and just found some really interesting ways to rip Lynn Varley�s vision and plastered it all over the screen. I highly suggest picking up the 300: The Art of the film book for more information. I can�t wait to dive into the DVD extras behind the whole �crushing� process.

The Story:
Even though it�s a fantasy version of the events behind the Battle of Thermopylae, how great of a story is this to tell? 300 men facing death assured against an army that shook the very ground as it approached. An act so brave it caused other countries to rise up and face Xerxes Empire. How different would the world be even today had these men not stood against tyranny? Hard to tell but I�m willing to bet that somehow my little league baseball team would have sucked just as bad�or would it?

Mr. Director:
Zach Synder has proven himself in the eyes of many with 300. The guy has talent and knack for picking the right projects for himself. It will be interesting to see what he does with The Watchmen but I think a massive number of fans can breathe a little easier knowing it�s likely in good hands. Perhaps if they ever get around to putting The Hobbit into production Zach would make for a good choice; the guy seems bullet proof right now with fanboys and he certainly has right mentality for the job.