A fight to the death in 300
Category: 300 Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: April 4, 2007 | Publication: Reading Evening Post | Author: Editor
Thanks to mjbooklady for the article!
Based on American graphic novelist Frank Miller's tale, 300 depicts the 480 BC Battle of Thermopylae in which 300 Spartan warriors took on the might of the Persian army, led by King Xerxes, who threatened to conquer Sparta and take away their freedom.
An unrecognisably beefed-up and bearded Gerard Butler is the Spartan King Leonidas and he has great presence in the role, even if his accent does slip frequently into an incongruous Scottish lilt. Not the only cast member at fault, at least one Welsh-accented Spartan, as well as American and Australian tones are notable.
The script of 300 has taken a battering by some critics, but for this particular reviewer, the script is one of the film’s most enjoyable aspects and supports all the macho posturing as well as fitting the movie’s modern comic book style.
The strange mix of contemporary exclamations and archaic-sounding prose points clearly to its Frank Miller source material.
300 is not an accurate historical depiction and neither is it meant to be. In fact, as its creators have admitted, traditional Spartan fighting styles were changed simply to ‘look cooler’on screen.
300 is a very visual film and relies on graphic yet unreal bloody images to create its desired effect, as with previous Frank Miller-derived flick Sin City. With its striking colour palette – sometimes sepia-tones prevail and at other times bold colours are paramount – it is often comic book-like but flying severed limbs and heads and decapitated bodies make 300 all the more gruesomely visceral.
Fight scenes will appeal to those who like their films to include close-up violent battle sequences; think Saving Private Ryan, Gladiator and Lord of the Rings. 300 revels in its battle sequences, using a combination of slow motion and real-time action to show off its carefully-constructed choreography.
As with so many films today, 300 relies heavily on computer generated imagery, but it is applied here to astounding effect, imbuing the film with the necessary comic book feel at the same time as giving it an epic scale without alienating the viewer.
300 is similar in scope to films such as Alexander and Troy, but is also strikingly different in so many ways, and providing you know what to expect, this eye-catching effort is well worth a watch.