300 is one of those movies which you either love or hate, depending on which age bracket you are. If I were a teenager with raging hormones, 300 would definitely have been my kind of movie, but as a guy in his late 20s, I was left desiring for more substance than just what I was delievered on screen.
300 is about the battle of Thermopylae, set in Greece in 480BC, where the Spartan army of just 300, led by Emperor Leonidas, fight off the advancing Persian army led by Xerxes. Leonidas is bound by custom and tradition to not fight, but he still persists and leads his men of just 300 to fend of what some historians say 20,000 men from the Persian side. The first question that went through my head was how could a mere 300 men fight off 20,000 men? Well, this movies proves it possible, and once the battle starts, you are entirely convinced that it’s entirely possible for this to happen.
Let’s get over with the good things first. No doubt 300 is one of the most stlyish film to come across the cinema screen. Since it’s based on a graphic comic novel by Frank Miller, the makers of the movie attempt to get the same comic book feel on the big screen, with much success. The print is grainy in texture, the action scenes are graphic, full of gore and violence. The fight scene in itself is more like a work of art than the fight scene you would see in, for example, The Lord of the Rings. With Matrix-like action sequences, with slo-mo and then sudden movements, the violence is glorified and passed off as a piece of moving art, which is quite cool.
However, having said that, there are other things that let down this movie. Leonidas is played by a Scottish actor, and everytime he spoke I was reminded of Braveheart, and had to remind myself over and over this is Greeks versus Persians, not Scots versus Persians. Secondly, the story moved all over the place, not giving enough time to me to like the characters. Like I said, it was more about the style and not the substance. Comparisons arise between this movie and other movies like Troy, The Lord of the Rings, Alexander and in particular Gladiator as the end of 300 takes place in a barley field a la Gladiator, which is not a good thing because 300 cannot stand on its own.
A very well made movie, with enough action to please those seeking testosterone filled action. A movie to definitely see in the cinema given it’s epic canvas sheet. 300 is let down by it’s director and it’s structure.
3 out of 5.
By the way, all those six-packs you see, they have been air-brushed in the movie, so don’t be fooled by that!