300

Category: 300 Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: March 25, 2007 | Publication: The Liverpool Daily | Author: Philip Key
Publication/Article Link:http://iccheshireonline.icnetwork.co.uk/entertainment/films/tm_headline=300&method=full&objectid=18799401&siteid=50061-name_page.html

4 of 5 stars

FRANK MILLER, the author of the graphic novel 300, says he was inspired to create it by an earlier Hollywood movie The 300 Spartans. Now, in circular fashion, the story is back on screen but this time told in Miller’s graphic book format.

Like Sin City before it, this is really the graphic novel-style brought to life with most of the background created on computers while actors perform in front of it.

It is the story if the Battle of Thermopylae in 480BC, a favourite of schoolboys who studied the histories of Heroditus. When the Persians invaded Greece, it was left to an army of just 300 Spartans to face an enemy of thousands.

They initially succeeded by defending a narrow pass where numbers did not matter so much but were to be defeated by a traitor who showed the Persians a secret pass.

Visually, the film is quite stunning with mythic settings and stylised battles (fighting takes up most of the film’s running time). The actors, right, mostly unknown to me, have such perfectly sculpted torsos that I suspected they too were created by computer trickery.

Ultimately, it is a thrilling film with a huge body count (including some decapitations), but the violence so comic book-like that it never feels quite real.