300 (Film)

Artist: Movie ReviewTitle: 300 (Film)Rating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Edwardo Jackson

“This is madness!”

“This! Is! SPAAAARTA!” [Black dude gets kicked down a well.]

And so begins 300 (Warner Bros.), a cinematic adaptation of Frank Miller’s

dramatization of the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. King of

male-dominated, warrior culture Sparta Leonidas (Gerard Butler) defies the

oracles and town leaders to lead his 300 fittest soldiers against a

million-plus invading horde of Persians heading their way to enslave

them. Instead of avoiding a senseless slaughter of his people by

kneeling before the equally arrogant Persian leader Xerxes (Rodrigo

Santoro), Leonidas plunges the Spartan army headlong into battle,

ready to die free than to live as a slave.

This much we know is true: 300 has more style than a P. Diddy garage

sale. Brimming with nudity, fluidity, and gleefully excessive violent

stupidity, 300 is all sizzle and no steak, a one page outline

masquerading as a two hour movie (trust, that’s a compliment).

All style with an almost boyish glee to the proceedings, Snyder &

Miller’s 300 is a man’s movie about the culture of being men, war,

pride, and all that other manly man stuff. Did I mention this movie’s

about war? Some of the rhetoric is so war-thirsty, it’s surprising the

movie wasn’t followed by “I’m George W. Bush, and I approved this

message.” Seriously, can you tell the difference between this line and

a Bush stump speech: “Freedom isn’t free at all. It comes with the cost

of blood.” The script consists of a bunch of elevated language all

saying the same things (“respect and honor,” “Spartans are real men,”

etc.) while marking time until the next hyper-stylized battle

sequence. Not that viewers came to this movie expecting Billy

Shakes(peare) but a plot would’ve been nice.

I could bore you with character but, let’s be real, there are no three

dimensional ones to speak of. So let’s talk some more about this

“style” thing, shall we? From the trailers, you know there’s going to

be luscious (some might say reckless) use of slow motion, which lends

the action sequences an impressive, balletic look and feel to them (if

not doubling the runtime of this story-thin movie). Mix in lush, CGI

and blue-screen added landscapes, a rock-addled soundtrack (that tries

to inject gravitas where there is none), and a cartoonish amount of

bloodshed and you have a certifiable date-killer movie. Even each of

the Spartans’ 12-pack, quarry-hard abs look painted on (or Snyder

hired the best nutritionists and physical trainers in cinema history).

There’s a lot of primal screaming and posing, sword and sandal, style

and…mo’ style. If that’s all you want, then this here is a movie. If

you happen to want something more-It’s not madness. It’s Sparta.

Related Stories