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Review: 300


When I first saw the leaked trailer for 300, the new movie based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel of the same name, I was blown away by the visual effects it showcased. It had a gritty, dirty feel to it and the unique visual style made me want to learn more about the film. I quickly headed over to the official site and was hooked right right away. I wanted to see this film. No, I needed to see this film. My buddy, Mark, was just as enthused and we promised ourselves we would see 300 the very day it opened in theatres.

Today was that day.

I just got home from the show and, let me tell you, 300 was everything I thought it would be and more. Those who saw Sin City, the first movie based on a Frank Miller graphic novel, will have an idea of the sort of visuals to expect. Highly stylized and supplemented by plenty of CGI, the visual effects are truly a sight to behold. Swords cut through opponents with satisfying ease, spears pass right through their victim’s bodies, and ample amounts of blood can be seen gushing in almost every sequence. In short, this isn’t the feel-good movie of the year. What it is, however, is a kick-ass, testosterone-fueled action flick that surpasses almost every expectation.

Miller’s novel, which is based on the 480 B.C. Battle of Thermopylae, is reproduced pretty faithfully. It tells the story of 300 Spartans who, in the face of certain slavery and death, faced off against an army of Persians, 250,000 strong. Led by King Leonidas, played extremely well by Gerard Butler, the Spartans face off against all manner of foe, including a masked army called the Immortals, giant rhinos, and mutant elephants. 300 plays fast and loose with the historical details, but that’s kind of the point. If you’re looking for a documentary, move along.

There’s a few scenes of political intrigue, most of it surrounding the efforts of Leonidas’ queen, Gorgo, played by Lena Headey. Thankfully, however, the bulk of the movie is devoted to bloody scenes of combat. It’s a relentless pace, one that rarely lets up, but it’s sure to get your blood pumping. Gerard Butler delivers an explosive performance, uttering some of the film’s most memorable lines (”Spartans! Tonight, we dine in hell!”). Dominic West delivers a superb performance as Theron, a politician who plots against the king. He is appropriately slimy and managed to make me cringe on more than one occasion.

If you’re looking for a non-stop thrill ride full of blood, gore, sword battles, grotesque monsters, gratuitous nudity, and slow-motion beheadings, all in a stylized, pedal-to-the-floor, “holy hell did you just see that?” package, 300 is right up your alley. If not, you’ll probably want to steer clear.

2 Responses to “Review: 300”

  1. Gravatar Icon 1 James Mar 12th, 2007 at 4:26 pm Quote

    Ok I was going to go see this already but now I can’t WAIT!

  2. Gravatar Icon 2 Brian Gilham Mar 12th, 2007 at 6:08 pm Quote

    Ok I was going to go see this already but now I can’t WAIT!

    Glad I could help ;-)

    It’s rare for me to get so excited by a movie and walk away from it without any disappointments, but 300 definitely lived up to everything I expected from it.

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