300 [based on the book] by , dir. by

23 March 2007

Script: , ,
Cast: , , , , , , ,
Setting: ,
Rated :
  • Gerard Butler,Lena Headey,Dominic West,David Wenham,Vincent Regan,Michael Fassbender,Tom Wisdom,Rodrigo Santoro – Xerxes

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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?

IMDb | Wikipedia on the Battle of Thermopylae | Dark Horse | I am the Lizard Queen | Villagers with Torches | Stainless Steel Droppings

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6 Responses

  1. anne says:

    I really wanted to go see that movie, but two things made me change my mind: first, it's gotten slightly too controversial for my taste, and second, apparently these abs have all gone now. And I can't bear the thought that I would lust after something that already doesn't exist anymore.

  2. Carl V. says:

    Glad you liked it, Fence. The narration didn't really click with me at first but, like you mentioned, I loved it by the end and thought the device worked very well.

    I wouldn't let the controversy sway you, Anne, if it is the political controversy you are hearing about. Anyone who thinks this is in any way a political statement vs. what it is, a movie based on a comic based on Frank Miller's LIFELONG obsession with this particular battle in history, is an idiot. Plain and simple. I'd like to line these morons up with Rosie O'Donnell and ship them off to an island somewhere so they can all be vociferous and stupid together.

  3. Fence says:

    Ignore the controversy. Think of it as nothing but an action flick and then go watch. As for the bodies that are no longer, well that isn't strictly true, because they'll exist for all eternity in the world of film Anne.

    However, I've obviously been watching far too much rugby, because there was one point when in one of the many battles when I felt that a good cry of "heeeeaaaaaave" was needed ;)

    Carl I'm of the firm belief that what a film means is more down to what the viewer brings with them rather than what the film-maker intends. That is why it is so fascinating to see all the different interpretations of 300. But at the same time I'd agree that this is nothing more than a film based on a comic based on a historical battle with extra stuff thrown in.

    Although isn't Miller known for his almost fascist tendencies?

  4. weenie says:

    Watched it last night and enjoyed it in a pure fantasy sort of way. As a history lesson, it was probably rubbish but then, I hadn't gone to the cinema to watch a documentary. Yeah, there was one part which reminded me of a big rugby style scrum-cum-rolling-maul! And I read somewhere that some of those abs were cgi-ed as the actors couldn't get proper six-packs through training!

  5. Fence says:

    I read that they were "enhanced through lighting" but not technically cgi weenie. Impressive on screen, but don't be looking for them in real life.

  6. Harlequin says:

    Just saw it and loved it. Don't know that I'd be watching it arís agus arís but still, great stuff! Didja spot yer man from the Guinness 'Sorry' ad? I would love to see an outtake of him killing the hell out of a load of the Persian lads and then turning to Xerxes and saying 'sorry.' Heh.

    I remarked to the Beloved as we left the kino "the characters might not have been well-developed, but the muscles sure were." Boom boom! Don't care if they were real or just well-lit – even the guys without a six-pack were pretty goddamn great to look at. I always think six-packs look a little weird and fake and Peter Andre-ish anyway. A flat toned stomach is fine for me! Aw yeah! They probably painted them on, like Keira Knightley's impressive fake boobs in Pirates of the Caribbean.

    And controversy-shmontroversy. It's a war movie – they always come with extra helpings of political stuff. Doesn't bother me.