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--------------------- The Plot In Short --------------------- The King of Sparta, Leonidas (Gerard Butler) pisses of the Persian King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) so the latter sends a massive army which Leonidas blocks with an army numbering a grand total of 300 warriors. And these 300 men put the mantra to good use: It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.
---------------------------------------- A Bit of Background On The Film ---------------------------------------- "300" is the second of Frank Miller's graphic novels to be adapted for the big screen. (Sin City, with the beautiful Jessica Alba in it, being the first) Snyder has followed closely to Miller's style and vision, and he has also poured in the adrenaline and testosterone thrills. These, in addition to a whole lot of graphically realistic violence and blood-letting makes for a movie that I reckon appeals to all males.
-------------- The Review -------------- Based on the Greek legend of the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC, the movie starts off with a brief introduction to the militaristic traditions of Sparta where children are taught the art of sword-fighting as soon as they are old enough to hold a sword. They also learn about personal honour and respect - and never to yield to the enemy. We see a young boy fighting in the cold against a gigantic wolf, and the cat and mouse game eventually ends with the scrawny but tough kid spearing the wolf to death. Respect. That boy is Leonidas.
When he becomes king, Leonidas meets a Persian emissary who insists that Sparta and all of Greece should pay homage to King Xerxes as ruler of the world or face the wrath of his massive army. When Leonidas refuses, he not only incurs the wrath of Xerxes but also that of his own council members for going against the exhortations of the (wonderfully beautiful) Oracle (Kelly Graig) who ays that he should not fight the Persians. The scene of Leonidas kicking the haughty (and very irritating) Persian messenger down a pit to death was absolutely cool.
The rest of the story, about how Leonidas leads 300 men against the hordes of foreign invaders, is now legend.
In production, a majority of the movie was filmed against a green screen backdrop where computer-generated backgrounds are incorporated into the print, giving the movie a surrealistic, comic book effect (just like what we saw in "Sin City"). During the battle scenes, the camera alternates between speedy motions and slow-motion, providing slow-motion close-ups and fast-paced shots of limbs and heads being severed -- with blood splattering all over the screen. It also proves how acting in such a type of movie can become so wierd because the actors are basically acting on their own with no real props or people to speak with, and it ends up like a sort of make-believe acting session. However, let's move on the the meat of the movie.
The initial part of the movie deployed the blood-letting to great effect, and was a wonderful sight to behold for the audience. However, the violence at times seemed to be overplayed and some people may be a bit tired of watching the same old thing of a severed head happening after seeing it done 7 times.
The audience is also transported to and fro between the chaotic battlefront and the relatively quiet capital of Sparta, where a different battle is being waged. Leanidas' wife Queen Gorgo's (Lena Headey) attempts to rally the treacherous Theron (Dominic West) to her side and persuade the Council to send reinforcements to her husband. However, this political wrangling could have been developed and expanded to heighten the suspense and tension in between the battle scenes.
Avid cinema fans would also enjoy the touching love scene between Leonidas and her queen - and the nude Oracle scene which are tastefully done.
-------------- My Opinion -------------- 300 is a masterpiece of visual effects, storyline and adrenaline-pumping action. Although some parts get repeated a tad too often (such as the cutting off of limbs and heads), the action is sure to give any guy a hell of an enjoyable 2 hours. This movie, frankly, is really for the guys, as testosterone filled action floods in scene after scene.
The acting is well-done, also because its not difficult to act all macho and tough when every one of the warriors are like 6 feet 2 inches tall with 8 pecs! Overall, I enjoyed the show greatly and felt like a kid again in the cinema watching all the cool action pieces. I even caught myself exclaiming "whoa! cool!" on a number of occasions. Definitely a must watch.
I've taken note and rewrote the review. I don't copy and paste the reviews wholesale, but because I use it as a template, I tend to use the wordings from the reviews. Been trying to improve on that. Check it out now, I've redone the review, so it doesn't look so copied anymore. Thanks for pointing it out to me =)
Spalsh85 09.06.2007 19:09
Yeah I realized, cuz I was using it as a template, and I just stick too closely to it sometimes such that it becomes similar.