Starring: Gerard Butler and a bunch of dudes, plus one chick.
Costarring: A hunchback and a voice-modified questionably draggy demi-god giant king.
Times Watched: 1
Genre: Action / Historical Epic
Rotten Tomatoes / Metacritic: 59% / 51
Road To Ownership: Presumably my boyfriend, along with every other guy on the planet, watched the movie and bought it previously viewed sometime after that.
The Plot: A messenger from Persia comes to tell the king of Sparta, Leonidas, that they must bow to the Persian empire. After the messenger is done away with, Leonidas talks to the ancients, who summon the gods and determine Leonidas must not fight (and what they say, goes). Leonidas ignores them and mobilizes 300 of his most formidable soldiers and goes to watch over the gate of the entrance to their nation. They fight and fight and fight against the Persians while their bedraggled/bedazzled king continues to offer Leonidas mercy if he’ll simply bow down to him. Meanwhile, Leonidas’ wife is back at home, bedding the bureaucrats as a means to getting Sparta to send more soldiers to aid her husband and his army.
The Good & The Bad: This movie is quite beautifully shot, and you can easily pick up its graphic novel influences. I definitely appreciated the artistry that went not into just the cinematography, but also everything from the costuming and make-up (Leonidas was a comically amazingly ‘drawn’ character, with the makeup they used you could almost see the pencil strokes) to the lighting and green screen work. I thought the casting was pretty bang on throughout, and even though the film is quite violent, it’s still quite stunning.
My praise pretty much ends there. Beyond the sheer artistry of the film, it’s a waste of time, unless you dig endless fight scenes, the extreme objectification of women (although I enjoyed that I suggested a female character ‘stab him!’ and it happened), and a relatively predictable plot. The end of the movie was marginally surprising – they manage to give you a happy/sad ending all at the same time, although they still point back to humanity’s flaws as there isn’t an ultimate winner or loser in the battle of 300, as one might expect. Really though, there isn’t a whole lot to say about this movie because there isn’t a whole lot to it!
Best Scene: I thought the scene with the fireworks (bombs or whatever) was pretty neat as much of it was slowed down so you could see individual sparks of light. I feel like there was another scene right after that which was cool but don’t quote me on that. The arrows blotting out the sun was cool also.
Worst Scene: Basically anything with the hunchback. His story thread was so predictable and his grotesqueness so overdone it was irritating to watch him.
Best Character: By default that would be Leonidas, although the Persian King was well done.
Worst Character: The hunchback!
Soundtrack of our Lives: Typical heroic, sweeping music, complete with goddess-esque cooing. Although there was some cool rock-y action music during some of the battle scenes…sort of took you out of the historical epic frame of mind a bit.
If You Like This You’ll Like: Quite some time ago I dated two different guys back to back that both loved them some historical epics. As such, I watched about 10 historical epic films in the span of 18 months and I was so over them, pretty much after the first one. Those films included the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Gladiator, Troy, King Arthur, and several others. Pick up any of them and you’ll be pleased as punch. Also Sin City, because it uses a similar (but totally different) style to really frame the film as a graphic novel brought to life.
Overall Grade: 2/5