Wow…300 was a feast for the eyes and the most visually decadent movie I’ve seen in a long time. Based on the graphic novels of Frank Miller (Sin City), the movie tells the story of 300 undermanned, outmatched Spartans who valiantly sacrificed their lives in The Battle of Thermopylae.
In the ancient times of Greek battle, the soldiers of Sparta were the bravest, most fearless warriors in the world. They were bred for combat, preparing for war soon after taking their first steps. It is this innate heroism that fuels 300 Spartans and their King Leonidas in war against mighty Persia. When Xerxes, the king of Persia, demands that Sparta submit to him, Sparta refuses. The gauntlet has been laid, and the only alternative is war. Despite the odds, the Spartans manage to slay many Persian soldiers. Unfortunately their victory is merely a moral one, as valor ultimately succumbs to manpower.
300 is straightforward in its storytelling, and a welcomed departure from other period movies that have had more convoluted historical underpinnings. The movie focuses on one battle. We know who’s fighting and we know their motivation. We can also surmise the result, but the treat lies in getting there. The battle scenes are choreographed wonderfully, and the cinematography is something to behold. 300 will appeal mostly to men due to its violence, but women are in for a pleasant surprise with the myriad of scantily clad Spartans, particularly King Leonidas, played by actor Gerard Butler. I watched a television program about the making of 300, and each one of the male actors was whipped into impeccable physical condition. They looked like warriors in every sense of the word, literally dropping to the floor to perform push-ups between takes. It pays off, as they all look like they could tear a person to shreds with their bare hands. So on that note, 300 is a movie that will oddly appeal to men and women equally, if the girls can get past the violence (it’s not too bad). It’s been said that 300 is as revoulutionary and groundbreaking as The Matrix. I wouldn’t dare go that far, but its unique sensuality makes it a movie worth seeing.