Monday, March 12, 2007
Movie Reviews: 300
During the ancient Battle of Thermopylae, King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and 300 Spartans fight to the death against Xerxes and his massive Persian army in an effort to inspire all of Greece to unite against their Persian enemy.
Cast Gerard Butler, Vincent Regan, Lena Headey, David Wenham, Michael Fassbender, Rodrigo Santoro (more)
Director(s) Zack Snyder
Writer(s) Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad, Michael Gordon
Status In theaters (wide)
Release Date March 9, 2007
MPAA Rating R - for graphic battle sequences throughout, some sexuality and nudity.
Zack Synder's sophomore film, 300, is a feast for the eyes but lacks the heart of better genre films in this category. Visually it's gripping experience, the style borrows heavily from Robert Rodriguez's Sin City and Ridley Scott's Gladiator. Synder fuses the two, Scott's Gladiator dream sequences to be specific, to achieve the look and feel of Frank Miller's graphic novel. The battle sequences are excellent and the Matrix like slow mo and speed up give the audience a chance to feel the impact of the carnage on screen. Still, the movie's massive amount of gore feels just as stylized as the rest of the movie. In a strange way, it lessens the violence's punch, especially when compared to the more realistic battle sequences from films like Braveheart or Gladiator. Here the violence is plentiful but still detached because of the computer effects. Regardless, the sequences are an enjoyable spectacle to behold and the movie's visual style gives the battles an almost ethereal quality to them. Sadly, away from the battlefield this movie comes to a grinding halt. The film's subplot of political intrigue is weak, it's one of the few things the filmmakers added to the film that wasn't in the source material, and brings the film to a virtual standstill. Characterization is also a major deficiency here, as we know very little about the players and the major characters are given only the slightest bit of back-story, everyone else is just a face in a crowd. 300 is a very good film with a much needed amount of uniqueness but its deficiencies keep it from the upper echelon sword and sandal films that came before it.