Three weeks ago, I saw the film 300 at the movie theater along with my two beautiful nieces.
Based on the epic graphic novel by Frank Miller, the movie is a violent retelling of the ancient Battle of Thermopylae in which Leonidas, King of Spartan, and 300 of the finest/strongest Spartans fought to the death against Xerxes and his massive Persian army. Facing the big possibility of losing the battle, their bravery and sacrifice inspire all of Greece to unite against their Persian enemy, worshiping democracy. Between all those gorgeously over-muscled, depilated men and those incredibly white and symmetric Hollywood teeth, the cinematography is what first grabs your attention. The style of the film is interesting. It depicts very much the feel of a comic in the style of also Miller’s Sin City.
That said, the battle scenes were well done and the monsters and other strange creatures are a fun and creative. One of my favorite parts was to see tens of thousands of arrows launching and falling upon the Spartans as they lift their shields in defense.
Now, on the other hand, there is very limited character development. The limited attention to character and sufficient but less than outstanding acting performances, as well as the comic level dialogue, makes it fall short of being a masterpiece. The real history of the Battle of Thermopylae had so many other aspects that the history could have been so much more satisfying if included… too bad that the priority was liters and liters of blood spilling in luxurious slow motion over content.
The humorous part of this is that Leonidas’ catch-phrase from 300, “Tonight we dine in Hell!” and “Spartans!” now belong up there with other lines picked up from classic movies like The Terminator’s “I’ll be back”. That being said, the movie has been a perfect target for Photoshoppery, as this selection of images taken from Macrochan shows…