Category: 300 Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: May 23, 2007 | Publication: Greece on Multiply | Author: The Dude for everyone
Starring Gerard Butler as King Leonidas ("Lion's son"), Lena Headey as Queen Gorgo, David Wenham as Dilios a spartan warrior, Dominic West as Theron, Vincent Reagan as the Captain, Tom Wisdom as Astinos (son of the captain), Micheal Fassbender as Stellios and Rodrigo Santoro as Xerxes. This movie is based on Frank Miller's graphic novel of the same name. Gerard Butler as Leonidas owns this movie. Gerard Butler makes Russel Crow in Gladiator look like a girl scout, he roars like a lion and has the swagger of a rockstar in his role as Leonidas. All the rest are garnish to Butler!
This is going to be the Movie of the year. No ifs and or buts. Period.
This movie was shot not on location in Greece but on a sound stage with a blue screen background for CGI oceans and backgrounds. While looking somewhat similiar to Sin City, it has its own feel and colors. It makes it look like Frank Miller's comicbook graphic novel come to life.
The movie isn't 100% historically accurate. It tells nothing of Athens' Naval victories, nor of the aftermath of Athens being burned. Hoplites didn't fight naked, but in bronze armor. They were the best warriors of the day. Real life Klingons 2000 years before Star Trek.
the Tale begins with young Leonidas training and growing up to be a Spartan warrior, fighting a CGI wolf, the progresses to him starting this cycle with his son. A Persian Messenger arrives with the heads of other Greek Kings to ask for his surrender, insults his Queen (for speaking out of turn) and threatens slavery to his people. Leonidas kills him right away.
Leonidas then takes only a small force comprised by his personal fighting unit, because Sparta's religious customs did not allow to send out an army at this time of the year. Outnumbered 1000 to one, the Spartans held back the enemy in one of history's most famous last stands, which led the Greek city states towards nationalism (and later Alexander the Great conquering the Persian Empire). The 300 Spartans used the land and their phalanx battle tactics to their advantage in the battle of Thermopylae (a word not used once in the whole movie). The Persian army was slaughtered for two whole days of battle until they out flanked the Spartans on the third day. The Persians succeeded in taking the pass on the third day of the Battle of Thremopypae but sustained heavy losses, extremely disproportionate to those of the Greeks. The 300 Spartans fought to the last man.
Mean while back at Sparta. Queen Gorgo tries to gather support for the rest of the Spartan army to support it's King and 300 best men. Theron stands in her way. She ends up being raped by him and the next day he lies about her hitting on him. She runs him through with a sword on the floor of the Council and Persian coins spill from his toga. The movie ends with 10,000 pissed off Spartan warriors heading to support their fallen King.
This movie is pretty graphic, has some nudity, rape and savage violence, gore blood and a few decapitations. The pace is great but I wished the movie was longer. The dialog is great and many of the one liners are taken from Herodotus. "Come and get them" was Leonidas reply when Xerxes demanded the Greeks surrender their arms. Before the Battle of Thermopylae, knowing that her husband's death in battle was inevitable, Queen Gorgo tells Leonidas "Return with your shield, or upon it" (he tan he epi tas), meaning that a Spartan soldier was expected to return from battle either victorious (with his shield) or dead (carried on his shield), not dropping his armor to flee from battle. When told of the Persian arrows blotting out the sun, "Good. Then we'll have our battle in the shade."