Movie Review: 300

Category: 300 Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: March 30, 2007 | Publication: Blogcritics.org | Author: Brandon Valentine
Publication/Article Link:http://blogcritics.org/archives/2007/03/30/223234.php

Following Sin City, 300 presents another Frank Miller-inspired production to take on the groundbreaking guise of a graphic novel and the bloodshed of a slaughterhouse. With its crimson-splattered logo and gritty texture, 300 is the quintessential male powerhouse picture of the new millennium. Not since the The Matrix has an action film so spectacular graced the big-screen. Yet, it all of its wonder, 300 is more of a spectacle than a cohesive, well-fashioned story.

In 480 BC, Persian “God-King,” Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), sent a messenger to King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) of Sparta to ask the Spartan authority for an offering of Earth and water. However, Xerxes intended to overthrow the city of Sparta and make slaves out of its citizens. In accordance with Spartan law, King Leonidas does not surrender. Instead, he calls his finest men to battle.

Three hundred superior soldiers are sent to fight Xerxes’ army of nearly 170,000 before he conquers the great city-states of Greece. The odds are stacked against the Spartans, but with strength and 700 Thespians (the other Hellenes) on their side, they may stand a chance. That is, unless one Spartan aspirant succumbs to the temptations of Xerxes and advises the “God-King” on how to outflank the 300.

Considering the feature was filmed entirely in front of a bluescreen (mainly) and greenscreen, it lacks a sense of realism. For being a retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae, the film adopts a feel of fantasy over practicality. Then again, this can be justified using the Greek mythology excuse. Furthermore, 300 never claims to be historically accurate.

Even so, 300 bears a resemblance to Lord Of The Rings in more ways than one in its heroes, villains, and action sequences. While David Wenham, who played Faramir, is on the Spartan side, soldiers who bear a resemblance to Orks fight for the Persians. In addition, large elephants and overgrown mutants fight for the dark side in a battle that mirrors that of Helm’s Deep.

In all seriousness, experiencing 300 is like having a barbarian shunt a shovel of steroids into your chest cavity and simultaneously inject a syringe of testosterone into your jugular. The picture places blood, CGI-enhanced cinematography, and slow-motion scenes at the forefront and suppresses its emotions — just as a Spartan would. Likewise, it places storyline second to glam.

Like a fine woman with a deeper shade of lipstick than necessary (piled on two inches too thick), 300 attracts the eye's attention, but takes away from the potential base of beauty. Be that as it may, the film is lion-like in presentation and sacrificial in tone; it is the manliest movie to come along in years. Be prepared, and bask in its visual glory.

Three stars out of four.