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Review: Frank Miller’s 300

Category: 300 Reviews
Article Date: March 17, 2007 | Publication: | Author: Naproxen

Posted by: stagewomanjen

Frank Miller’s 300 the movie is really a graphic novel in the form of a movie. It is visually stunning and the fight scenes are incredible and somewhat true to historical descriptions of how the phalanx fought. This goes to show that even whities can make a fight scene look good with only swords and spears. One critic described it as Lord of the Rings’ siege scene mixed with Gladiator’s fighting style. If that’s what you’re into then this movie is a 117 minutes long orgy for you.

For me, however, it was fun for about 45 minutes, which was still impressive. My criticism is that there is no plot to speak of. The movie was true to the graphic novel which was trying to be true to Herodotus’ Histories. The problem is that there was never much twists and turns in the Histories to start with, except for the Spartan attempt to assassinate Xerxes. Therefore, the only thing anyone can really do, while staying true to the original story, is to make it visually stunning and that’s where the genius of Frank Miller comes in. Think of Frank Miller’s 300 as a repainting of the original tale of the Spartans at Thermopylae (although I don’t think that name was even mentioned once in the movie. They just called it the “firey gates”, which is what Thermopylae means). However, Miller certainly takes liberty on various elements such as the composition of the Persian army. He introduces some fantasy enemy units and creatures and pit them against the Spartan infantry. In this sense, it is quite LoTR like. Again, if you’re into incredible fight scenes, then this movie has it. The looks of the movie, such as the color and style, proves that just because you have computer generated images, it doesn’t mean you have to make everything ultra-realistic. The look is highly stylized and recalls its graphic novel roots. A lot of movies are like news reels or documentaries or attempts to look like it. Zack Snyder goes for a different approach and really make movies as its own medium and form. The effect is incredible.

The dancing Oracle chick is so hot.

On a tangent, there is actually another level to view the movie and the story because Leonidas leaves as his last command to Dilios, “remember us” or something to that extend, which is a very common theme in Greek mythology. Thus by making this movie and repainting the tale, Frank Miller and Zack Snyder have done precisely that. In the end, Leonidas and his Spartans gained the immortality and glory that they died for.

This movie costed approximate $60 million to make or 6,000 starving children died for this. I would sacrifice about 2,000 for this so that leaves a net loss of 4,000. This movie costed in terms of human lives: 4,000 children, 300 Spartans, and innumerable Persians.

If you want traditional star ratings, I would give it about 3.5 / 5 stars.


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