They started with â€œSky Captain And The World Of Tomorrowâ€ and came closer with â€œSin Cityâ€. But now with 300 I think that filmmakers have actually done it: theyâ€™ve presented us with as close to a comic book (or graphic novel if you please) on film as weâ€™re likely to get for the next couple of years. And make no mistake, 300 is exactly that: a graphic novel on film. The heroes are impossibly muscled like superheroes while the women are wonderfully endowed. The villains are hideously deformed in strangely attractive ways while the violence is so artistically choreographed and stylized that I really donâ€™t understand the outcry that 300 is such a violent movie. Itâ€™s violentâ€¦well, yeah...but itâ€™s not real violence, if you know what I mean. 300 is a movie that I think is going to be known as a turning point in comic book/graphic novel adaptation to film because it does it so astonishingly well. I sat in amazement and felt as if I was watching the graphic novel by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley coming to life right before my eyes. 300 is a movie worth going to see just for its visuals alone. And I very rarely say that about any movie.
The year is 480 B.C. and the army of King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) boasting a million men strong demands the surrender of Sparta. King Leonides (Gerard Butler) selects 300 of the bravest, strongest and most powerful Spartan warriors to join him to meet the enemy and hold them at the narrow pass of Thermopylae. Now you may say to yourself that it seems as if The Spartans are extremely outnumbered. Ah, but you donâ€™t know Spartans. Spartans are so badass they throw their newborn to wolves just to see if they will survive. If the babes rip out the throats of the wolves, theyâ€™re worthy to be Spartans. You wanna know how badass Spartans are? Theyâ€™re badass enough to take on any enemy in the world, eat â€˜em for lunch and throw the bones to their kids to play with. Thatâ€™s how badass Spartans are. And King Leonides is so badass he makes other Spartans look like sissies.
King Xerxes is impressed with the courage, the power, the skill and the bravery of these 300 that destroys every force he sends against them and he offers King Leonides a place of honor at his side. Iâ€™m not going to spoil it by telling you what happens but letâ€™s just say that King Xerxes shoulda kept his mouth shut.
The visual style of this movie is absolutely breathtaking. You really should have seen it in all it's glory in a movie theatre but if you didn't, don't worry, the dazzling visual style is just as breathtaking on DVD. Trust me. The battle scenes are remarkable in their beautiful brutality. The Spartans are totally glorious as they cut through their enemies and they do it in a way that is horrific yet balletic at the same time. And theyâ€™re thrilling.
Gerard Butler as King Leonides is The Man. Heâ€™s an Old School type of king. The kind that is right out there in front of his troops when the enemy is coming at them full force. And heâ€™s got a speech that is absolutely stellar where he tells the attacking Persians that Spartans are descendents of Hercules himself and if the Persians want their spears then they got to come and take them. Gerard Butler is obviously having so much fun in his role and so good that he ought to be nominated for an Academy Award. Lena Headey is just as good playing Queen Gorgo, the wife of Leonides. Sheâ€™s back in Sparta trying to rally support for Leonides while heâ€™s off slaughtering the enemy and to do so she has to do something truly repugnant but yet nobly selfless. David Wenham has a pivotal role as Dilios, a Spartan warrior who is also a brilliantly gifted storyteller.
Iâ€™ve read some articles that criticize 300 for not being historically accurate and that kinda puzzles me because at the end of the movie you understand why the story has been told in such a fashion and for me, it works. Iâ€™m becoming a huge fan of these movies that are filmed on â€œdigital backlotsâ€ where everything except the actors and the props are created digitally. Mind you, I wouldnâ€™t like to see all movies made in this fashion but for movies like 300 as well as â€œSin Cityâ€ and â€œSky Captain And The World Of Tomorrowâ€ it works wonderfully. Movies like 300 transport us to another reality, one in which you become totally immersed and your eyes just canâ€™t get enough of the visual feast theyâ€™re watching.
Iâ€™m not going to go into details such as characterization becauseâ€¦well, there really isnâ€™t that much. 300 is all about spectacularly bloody battles along with bombastic speeches about honor, courage and dying with a sword in your hand. 300 is all about the visuals. 300 is all about sitting back in your chair and being dazzled and amazed for two hours. 300 is why I love the movies.
WORLD - CULTURE
Copyright © 2010 DLFerguson
300 Movie Review
Copyright © 2010 DLFerguson
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