- Gerard Butler,Lena Headey,Dominic West,David Wenham,Vincent Regan,Michael Fassbender,Tom Wisdom,Rodrigo Santoro – Xerxes
I have a feeling that how you feel at the end of seeing this film will be hugely coloured by your mindset before the film began. Personally I loved it. Wonderful visuals and a great story. Wasn’t overly impressed with the characterisation, but you can’t have everything.
The film begins with a voice-over, and this narrator pipes up throughout the film, sometimes describing the action that we are watching on screen. I have no doubt that some will find this redundant, but, given the ending and who the narrator is I think this device actually works really well. Plus he does add to the melodramatic, over the top atmosphere that make this such a good film.
Overblown and over the top, almost pompous in its grand vision. And yet it just works. Somehow they’ve managed to draw the viewer in, using dialogue and visuals that could so easily have done nothing but remind you that this is a highly stylised film. The visuals are often lacking in realism. The characters are larger than life, the action is brutal, the culture hugely strange. And it is great.
There were one or two instances when I did find myself thinking that the constant references to freedom and the evil tyrant were overdone and not a little incorrect given the fact that if you were a slave in Spartan society then life back then was pretty far from easy. But this isn’t really historical fiction, it is an action film, and as such it is almost perfect. I also loved the soundtrack. So much so that I did just try and buy it online, but the official website wants you to use iTunes, I don’t, so I was forced into borrowing it.
Top marks all around for a violent, visceral, blood-splattered film, and I can’t finish my review without saying, my god, did you see those abs?