"She Said" Movie Review: 300
Category: 300 Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: March 16, 2007 | Publication: MUSN Online | Author: Sophia Larsen
"300" provides a visual retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae, where Spartan King Leonidas (Gerard Butler, "The Phantom of the Opera") led a troop of 300 soldiers to encounter the hundreds of thousands strong Persian army. With the exception of Butler and David Wenham ("The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King"), the acting was nothing special, but it certainly didn't detract from the amazing Spartan fighting action.
In that regard, it is important to note that "300" is not a historically accurate depiction of the Battle of Thermopylae. It's based off of a graphic novel, which is made evident through the use of bold color and contrast. Stylistically, "300" is very similar to "Sin City," which I can only assume was something of a tribute to writer/artist Frank Miller's creative work. Whatever the reason, there were several aspects that combined to give the movie an odd look and feel. So, while it was very pretty, the movie itself served as a constant reminder that you're watching a movie. And just as well, that alone should help keep people from taking the movie as anything more than a film adaptation of a comic book.
Even so, I was particularly uneasy about the use of ogres and giants in "300." I mean, does the fictitious aspect give the director creative license to add imaginary monsters into a historical event? But, then I realized: oral tradition was an enormous part of the ancient world, and Greece was no exception to the rule. I suppose then that it makes sense that some of the opponents would border on the mythological in appearance in the retelling of the story. This idea is reinforced with Snyder's use of a narrator (Wenham) throughout the duration of the movie.
Snyder seemed to have an over-fondness for the slow motion effect while making this movie, as the cinematic technique is used in practically every other scene. Sure, it gives the audience an opportunity to see the Spartans in all their awesomeness, but how many slo-mo deaths do we have to see before we get it? Regardless, "300" does what it's supposed to do, and I guess Snyder owed it to his actors to give them extended screen time. Anything to convince them to wear leather Speedos, right?
If you liked "Sin City" but wish it had just a little less gore and a single, history-based central plot, then "300" is right for you. But if you're more likely to look at the points where the action deviates from the actual historic account - which happens a lot - then I would suggest finding another movie to occupy your money and time.