300 Reigns Supreme
Category: 300 Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: April 5, 2007 | Publication: The Comment | Author: Tim Vitagliano
A movie of epic proportions, 300 is a film that balances scenes of intense and extreme violence with scenes of intense and suggestive politics. Not trying too hard to implore a hard-thinking plot or realistic battles, this film is a fan boy's dream. Directed by Zach Snyder (Dawn of the Dead) 300 stays true to the source material, which is not a history book or an actual account of the battle, but Frank Miller's (Sin City) graphic novel.
Definitely intended for a mature audience 300 creates a world of intense passion. With a suggestive rape scene, ultra-violent battle sequences, and a sexually-charged love scene, not everyone will come away loving this one. Still, however simplistic the plot and extreme the material, 300 is an entertaining and involving film that any action fan should like.
One of the reasons that it is so enveloping is the style of the film. By using green screen studios and state-of-the-art special effects, Snyder is able to make Miller's graphic novel come alive. Quite literally, scene for scene, the movie takes its queue for every camera angle straight from this source.
For a little background: after a Persian messenger from Xerxes' (Rodrigo Santoro) army comes to Sparta to tell King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) he must surrender to the god-king the movie drives on at a rapid pace. The king takes 300 of Sparta's best warriors and sets out to fight Xerxes' massive army.
At the home front is Queen Gorgo, a powerful woman of words, who tries to convince the Spartan politicians that they must send more troops to fight against the Persians. By balancing the two plots 300 effectively keeps the viewer involved. The reason it works so well is that there is some down time between battles in the film. Allowing for humorous scenes with the troops, but for the most part, leaving room for sexually charged battles between the Queen and her political rival.
300 seems to have a prophetic quality about it too. With our current politics dealing with the Iraqi war and troop removal, 300 also questions these same types of problems. Queen Gorgo has to persuade Sparta that more troops must be supplied to Leonidas or else they will all lose their freedom. In a very convincing speech, and heated debate, Gorgo brings these questions to the forefront of the film's plot, giving it a greater sense of depth that goes beyond the film.
Two of the major themes in the film are devotion to country and pride as a warrior. Each warrior knows what they are fighting for and how important it is that they must go. It is no secret that all these men die at the end (and it doesn't take away from it if you didn't know). In the last scene the testosterone-charged, ultra-ripped warriors face their impending deaths as honorably and willingly as any Spartan would, and most unlike any other person would.
Overall, this film gets an 8/10. It entertains and keeps the audience involved by keeping the action fast and the dialogue short. Yet, even some of the dialogue with the queen is just as compelling as the battles. The plot is simple and the battles are unrealistic, but through stylized appearance and true homage to Miller's graphic novel this film feels complete and tells the story well.