Based on the comic book by Frank Miller, the movie 300 is an epic Tale of 300 Spartans and numerous other Greeks battle against Xerxes and his mega army of Persia. The battle of Thermopylae of 480 BC, shows the strength, honor and sheer fighting power that once was the Spartan men. The story being told Through the ages and in many different ways is truly made historic by Frank Miller's story telling.
While not a fan of comic books, or movies that look like comic books come to life, I really enjoyed the unique contrast of this movie that gives a very detailed, but not over the top look of war that we don't normally see on the big screen. The very artistic blend of slow motion and comic book effects make heads being chopped off and severe battle wounds look not as gruesome as they would normally in movies such as Gladiator and Braveheart to name just a couple. (Also some of my most favorite movies). At first this just perhaps seemed a way to make a not so long story stretch, but between the interesting narratives of Dilios (played by David Wenham (who also plays in some great movies, like Van Helsing and the Lord of the Rings, Return of the King) and the creative special effects the time flew by and it was hard to believe the movie was over.
King Leonidas played by Gerard Butler was amazing in his strength of character and the believability as a true leader even when the odds are stacked against them. From a man who has played the Phantom of the Opera, I was amazed of not only the natural physic in which he carries himself as a king and warrior, but his extreme versatility as an actor in general. While the movie doesn't focus on a large group of characters, I was also very impressed with the strength and Leonidas's queen, Queen Gorgo played by Lena Headey, whom I believe is not known as a mainstream actress here in the U.S. While some of her speaking parts seemed a little generic in their delivery as far as the way the script is written, her believability as a queen of Sparta and her strength of delivery is excellent.
Rodrigo Santoro plays Xerxes, a larger than life, self proclaimed God. For a man that has no real physical attributes of being larger than life himself, his portrayal of the famed dictator trying to take over the entire world is amazingly believable and magnanimous. The directors of the film making him seem larger than King Leonidas not only in his quest to conquer, but to bring down on of the largest kings of the realm is just amazing.
I had the privilege of seeing this movie twice, once on the regular screen and the second time on IMAX, which of course can make anything larger than life, so if you missed all the effects even just on a regular movie screen, it may loose a little in the translation to a smaller TV screen, but the dark and grime landscape with flashes of bright blood and slow motion action scenes makes this a movie not to be missed for those who love a good battle sequences.
The fantasy that surrounds the retelling of this age old legend makes for an all around entertaining movie. While not overly gruesome, due to some explicit nudity is still not a movie for young children, but is definitely a film for the movie connoisseur. While even knowing the outcome of the movie, the men of Sparta still have you hoping that they can change the tides and become the victors over the Persian army. The style of fighting with their swords and shields is a theme you see in many other historic movies which through my studies of history is very accurate. The physical work that these actors put in to making each move authentic just adds to the overall effect of the movie. I would even venture to guess that most women can even come to appreciate the movie for what it is, once you get past 300 men with well cut arms, chests, and legs, and what women wouldn't love to stare at that for a couple of hours. I think it's a great movie for men and women alike.
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