Film Review: 300

Category: 300 Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: May 1, 2007 | Publication: The Wessex Scene Online | Author: Tim Bolitho-Jones
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Loads of people are talking about 300 right now. Having grossed over $70 million, itís already an instant smash and needless to say, Iím sure most of you good people reading this will have seen it already and made your minds up, so my review isnít going to sway your opinion one way or the other.

For those who havenít captured it yet however, ignore all that talk about beautiful cinematography, crimson spattered violence and latent homo-eroticism, because what 300 more than any other film has done in the past decade or so, is play up a blood and thunder triumph as the most testosterone-laden frenzy you will ever see.

Yes folks, once upon a time the likes of Predator were considered tough guy movies revelling in their own machismo. Not any more. Now, thanks to Frank Miller, Zack Snyder, Gerard Butler and a bunch of buff and ripped Americans pretending to be Greeks, there is nothing more manly than 300. Not boxing, not drinking, not driving sports cars, just this. And thatís all you really need to know. The likes of King Leonidas, Vincent Reganís Captain and David Wenhamís Dilios are not so much characters as they are brute force driven to such an extent that it almost feels like a parody; they show no fear, slaughter their enemies with reckless abandon, long only for warriorís deaths and when crouching under their shields as a thousand arrows rain down from the heavens, they laugh with derision at their foeís pathetic humanity.

As such, it would be easy to suggest that 300ís audience will most likely be 14-28 year old males but in all honesty, itís difficult to imagine anyone not liking this movie. The battle scenes are energetic crowd-pleasing spectacles, even if Snyder overuses the slow motion a tad and with its pantheon of armoured beasts, mutant warriors with swords for fists and Persian elites who resemble the Uruk Hai more than men, the visual appeal cannot be underpinned. As these creatures suggest, 300 isnít the most historically accurate movie ever made but itís certainly a lot more enjoyable to watch than the majority of historical epics I could name.

In short then, a highly enjoyable piece of fiction that purists will be pleased to find mirrors the source material quite accurately. With its collection of oddball warriors, CGI blood and a soundtrack comprised of heavy metal guitar riffs, it may date badly and ten years from now be laughable, but right now its an absolute blast. Snyder may be a white, middle class geek with a camera, but having made this and the white-hot Dawn of the Dead remake, he sure knows how to deliver the goods on screen. And as for all that talk of homo-erotic subtexts, I fail to see what theyíre getting at. I mean, what could honestly be at all gay about 300 scantily clad men getting riled up and penetrating each other with the shiny heads of their elongated spears?