(scroll down for trailer)
Fourth film on the list is 300. Another movie which shares the name of the graphic novel it is based on, this one by Frank Miller. It tells the tale of how King Leonidis led the Spartan army of only 300 men and defied the apparent will of the gods in order to go to war with the Persians advancing army of 30,000 men, after the Oracle decrees they will not be going to war. The Spartans meet them at a narrow gorge by the sea to prepare to defend their lands. Meanwhile Queen Gorgo tries to rally support for her husband back in Sparta. And believe me when I say, I’ve basically told you the entire plot of the movie.
The movie relies heavily on CGI, from the painted on abs to slow-motion beheadings and sweeping panoramic shots of the huge Persian army. That’s no bad thing in a movie that is basically a panel by panel recreation of a graphic novel. Visually, the movie is a joy to watch. Snyder is great visually in his movies. There is a ridiculous level of attention to detail.
The dialogue is basic but effective. The story is very simplistic and straightforward. It came in for a lot of criticism when it was released, with some even calling it racist. The main criticism though, was the historical inaccuracy of it. I think a lot of people didn’t know the source material, and that it’s not supposed to be historically accurate. It’s told from the viewpoint of the Spartans. You know, those people who discarded the young who looked weak, who battered their kids to toughen them up, who were expert soldiers and unforgiving enemies. It kind of makes sense that they would not be too fond of an invading army when telling the tale of what happened. I read a review where someone complained about the huge gold throne with steps up to it carried by slaves. It’s a movie based on a comic.
The acting, however, particularly from Gerard Butler as Leonidis, is superb. It really captures the vibe of the graphic novel. Lena Headey as Gorgo is also a solid performance. Rodrigo Santoro is pretty menacing as the 8 or 9 feet tall Xerxes (I think he’s just over 6ft in reality). The actors throw themselves into the action, which is intense and superbly choreographed. I mean they kind of had to get that right what with the nature of the movie, and thankfully they hit a bullseye. There is a graphic amount of blood spilled, a fair proportion of it in slow motion, so it’s not for the squeamish.
The sound is amazing. Everything you hear sounds great, clashing swords over Tyler Bates soundtrack, tracks like To Victory and Returns a King. It really elevates the movie.
There are some negatives though. Some people will be put off by the largely one-dimensional dialogue I mentioned. It’s mostly bravado. The Persian army never really has any development to it, just as characters are introduced they are chopped to bits and then the next wave approaches. Although the movie is a faithful adaptation, at times I did feel that for the movie, there could have been a little bit more added there. Also, at times the nationalistic elements do get a bit much, but don’t really detract from the movie because you are too busy looking at the action. What was strange though, was how they didn’t make it a bit less of a plot hole how Gorgo would be so easily tricked. I won’t put any spoilers because it would ruin a crucial scene, but I think that they should have either expanded the story, or left it out. My verdict: A great, faithful recreation of a great Frank Miller graphic novel.
Movie info from wikipedia
|Directed by||Zack Snyder|
by Frank Miller
and Lynn Varley
|Music by||Tyler Bates|
|Edited by||William Hoy|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$456.1 million[4|
Did you agree with my review? What did you think at the time about the comments on the movie and the mixed reviews it got? favourite quotes? Let me know in the comments section!