based on the story of the Battle of Thermopylae, where 300 Spartan soldiers
the much larger forces of Xerxes, the ruler of Persia, in a battle
that has captured the imagination of many since it occurred in 480 BC.
this film's re-telling is based on "300," a graphic novel
by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley. Miller, who is best-known for his "Sin
which was also successfully translated to film in 2005, was inspired by the
1962 film The 300 Spartans as
a child. In other words, expecting this to be an accurate representation
of history is foolish.
Starring: Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, and
version goes something like this: A Persian messenger arrives at Sparta
carrying the crown-bearing skulls of those who have dared to defy Xerxes.
All Sparta has to do to avoid being crushed is to make an offering of
"earth and water" to show they will submit to Persia. King Leonidas (Gerard
Butler) is outraged that the messenger would dare to threaten Sparta
and throws him into a pit, sending a message back to Xerxes that Sparta
will not kneel to him.
that Sparta will soon be attacked, Leonidas leads 300 Spartan warriors
to the "Hot Gates" where they will attempt to hold off the
Persian forces. He does so without the support of the Spartan council,
who controls the
bulk of the Spartan army and, as such, the ability to send reinforcements.
As Leonidas leads his forces into what is most likely certain death,
his wife, Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey), tries to convince the council
to send the army to his aid.
as complicated as the film ever gets. The bulk of 300's
2 hour running time is comprised of various scenes of the Spartan warriors
the Persian forces in one form or another. Due to the use of mostly
computer-generated sets and backgrounds, 300 looks like a giant,
sprawling videogame. If you've ever watched someone play an action-packed
videogame, you'll have déjà vu watching 300. I
wanted to grab a controller and start helping the Spartans out. Once
I realized I couldn't, I became painfully aware of how uninvolving
despite the fantastic visuals.
Butler, as Leonidas, makes a great soldier and warrior. He comes across
as someone for whom you wouldn't hesitate suiting up for battle and
charging an enemy. He is the sole character in the film that is fleshed-out
enough to care about. Everyone else, aside from Queen Gorgo, who provides
him with some moral support, is basically expendable. King Xerxes
(Rodrigo Santora) is enigmatic and visually impressive but he
doesn't provide a worthy or interesting adversary for Leonidas.
300 differs from truly rousing period action movies -- like Braveheart or Gladiator --
is that you don't care much about anyone in the film, save Leonidas.
If you don't care much about the characters, you're not going to feel
or get slain
300 is stylish and action-filled but it feels empty and soulless.
to an interview with IGN.com, Director Zack Snyder says that fighting
styles and formations (particularly the Spartan's phalanx) were purposefully
changed - making them historically inaccurate - so they'd "look
cool" and work better for movie purposes. (Source: The
Internet Movie Database)