So I went to see the movie 300 this past Friday, and I thought I would put up my thoughts on the movie – kind of an informal review. I want to try to start doing this for most (if not all) movies I see. So this will hopefully be the first of many. Oh – and I’ll try to keep them short and to the point – no essays on film here, thank you very much.
300 is the movie adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel about the Battle of Thermopylae, in which a few thousand of soldiers from various city-states of Greece defended the Thermopylae pass against several million Persians. The title 300 comes from the fact that there were 300 Spartans in the battle, and the way the movie portrays it is that these 300 men were essentially the only major part of the force. The Spartans are led by Leonidas, the Spartan King (Gerald Butler), against the Persian god-king Xerces (Rodrigo Santoro).
First off, I thought this movie was 110% bad-ass. I loved the highly stylized cinematography, and it really felt like a graphic novel. There were some times when the slow-motion sequences seemed to be too much, but it was nice to see that much effort go into making a good fighting sequence. Too often it seems like a movie relies on just lots of people mobbing around to represent a fight. It was cool to see different singular fights within the overall battle.
I thought that the acting was overall very well done, although it was funny that all of the Spartans had (at times heavy) British and Scottish accents. The sound and music were really good as well, and though some people may feel that the more modernistic music doesn’t fit with the movie, I think that being a graphic novel adaptation, it helps keep the viewer from expecting something too realistic. The plot was very simplistic, and basically served as a means to set up the battle sequences. The storyline that follows Leonidas’ wife is somewhat overdone, but it does serve as a good break from the very bloody battles.
That is the big thing about this movie – it is not realistic AT ALL. Just like Sin City (another Miller novel adapted to film), it holds true to its roots. There are other-worldly beasts, feats of inhuman strength, all that good stuff. But these things serve to make the Spartans even more heroic, when even the historical accounts of the battle are quite astonishing.
Verdict: I really liked it
You would like it if…
- You like stylized cinematography (like Sin City)
- You enjoy lots of gratuitous action
- You can leave many historical facts at the door
You would not like it if…
- You don’t like violence
- You expect a historical perspective on the Battle of Thermopylae
- You want a story-driven movie
- You want a deep, thought-provoking movie