New film '300' takes blood and guts to a whole new level
Category: 300 Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: April 2, 2007 | Publication: the-telescope.com | Author: Ryan Huff
Director Zack Snyder and writer Frank Miller combine to produce one of the year's best action films in "300," a visual eye candy extravaganza of blood and guts.
The film centers on King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and his quest to protect Sparta from an oncoming Persian invasion. However, a minute detail stands in his way. Because of orders sent from the mountain-dwelling Oracles, Leonidas only has 300 men- hence the name of the movie- to fight the massive Persian army.
From there, chaos ensues and the movie plays itself as one would expect. However, considering the story was taken from Miller, the same man who helped produce the piece of trash that was "Sin City," the film itself is impressive. It's just as good as "Sin City" was bad. This film shows the true peak of Miller's comic-to-screen potential.
There are many notable performances in this movie, but it is only fit to start with Butler, who played the role of King Leonidas to near perfection. Butler's job in "300" eerily reminded me of Russell Crowe's performance in "Gladiator." Grasping the anger and frustration of a desperate king who can see his own downfall, Butler beautifully plays the role of a man with nothing to lose. The intensity in which he approaches this role with is admirable.
Lena Headey, who plays the role of Queen Gorog, Leonidas' wife, is also great in the film. More than just eye candy, her role in the movie as a major player behind the scenes is impressive. Her role as the wife standing behind her strong king is good and is shown at its pinnacle when she gets into a deadly confrontation with Theron (Dominic West) over the validity of her husband's quest for war.
Shot in Montreal using a blue or green screen, "300" was completed in only 60 days. Considering how outstanding the visual effects in this movie are, it's amazing how fast it was completed.
The way Snyder uses contrasting colors and vivid imagery in the battle scenes is remarkable. This is highlighted is certain scenes where characters will be moving in normal speed when the rest of the actors are moving in slow motion. This focuses on the proficiency in which the Spartans killed. Also, the use of darker, grittier looking death scenes is complemented nicely by the comic- looking feel to the movie.
Pumped full of CGI, "300" still carries itself on good acting and great fight scenes. One scene in particular where elephants fall off a cliff into a ocean is a perfect example of Miller's talent for story, CGI and action, all combining into a cocktail of adrenaline.
The detail in which the movie shows Spartan soldiers pushing multiple gigantic elephants to their rocky death is amazing. Think Will Ferrell falling into pool scene via "Old School" minus the comedy and "Sounds of Silence" playing in the background replaced by triumphant Spartan battle cries. Definitely not suitable for those who are blood sensitive, "300" doesn't hold back on decapitation or loss of limbs.
Overall, the great concept of Miller's art and imagination was properly fused with the vision and direction of Snyder to combine for a great movie.