Saturday, March 10, 2007


Title: 300
Dir: Zach Snyder
Rating: **** out of 5 stars

This film is like a crash-course in badassery. It starts off a little slow, but makes up the slack later. The movie has warriors, monsters, sex, a great Greek story, and blood. Ohh, the blood. All from the mind of Frank Miller. Seriously, what more could you ask for?

300 re-envisions the Battle of Thermopylae, where King Leonidas and few hundred Spartan (and other assorted Greek) warriors famously took on the Persian empire, numbering a couple million soldiers under the rule of King Xerxes. Much of the story is based loosely in fact, but Miller's graphic novel did throw in some larger-than-life creatures for flare. This great story combined with Zach Snyder's visionary directing resulted in one kick-ass fantasy/war film.

Gerard Butler makes up for Dracula 2000/Timeline/Tomb Raider/everything else he's ever made by playing Leonidas. He is such a badass character and Butler brings a lot of passion to the role. It may look like a lot of screaming and grunting from the trailers, but I swear, it is thrilling stuff. I also loved Vincent Regan as Leonidas' second-in-command. Another great, passionate character. He really stood out to me.

As you can probably tell from the advertisments, 300 is very quotable. Tonight we dine in HELL!! Come on, you have to love that. The movie just oozes cool. The only real downside I can think of is that it starts off kinda slow. But it gets so exciting, it really doesn't matter. The battles are just awesome, as are the different warriors from all corners of the Xerxes' empire and the various monstrosities.

And of course, the visuals are outstanding. Zach Snyder out-did himself on this one. The cinematography is draw-dropping. I'm not talking about filters and slow-motion here. I'm talking about lighting and mise-en-scene. 300 goes beyond flashiness and almost qualifies as art. Granted, a lot of that is Frank Miller. But Miller's drawings and Snyder's interpretation onto film come together beautifully.

I am anxiously anticipating Snyder's forthcoming adaptation of The Watchmen. He has done beautfiul (albeit underrated) justice to Romero and Miller. I am so excited to see how he handles Moore!