Review: 300

There’s not really all that much to do in Singapore (unless one is of the clubbing type, which I’m quite decidedly not atm, due at least partially to just how tiring my job is…) – my brothers and I both enjoy going to the cinema more than most other activities, despite the irritating subtitles band.

So catching films at the cineplex has become a way we use to keep ourselves amused. I tend to be quite reserved about the films I pay $8 or more for – comedies and girly flicks just don’t cut it. This year, there haven’t been many that deserve the big screen treatment, but 300 certainly does…

For those who steer well clear of ‘guy’ flicks like Sin City and Fight Club, the title ‘300’ may raise question-marks above your heads. It refers to the legendary 300 Spartans that stood against the might of the Persian Army at Thermopylae back in 480BC, the 300 who inspired the Greeks’ successful defense of their homeland the following year with victory at the Battle of Plataea.

The source material of 300, however, is not legend per se, but a graphic novel by Frank Miller (who also gave us Sin City). As such, anyone looking for a serious, historically-accurate depiction of the what was possibly the most revered fighting force in the world had better look elsewhere. With Zack Snyder taking the idea further than Miller and Robert Rodriguez took Sin City, 300 is basically a graphic novel brought to the screen, frame-for-frame. And even those who haven’t read the source and see the influence – slow motion that emphasises heights of action, from Stelios leaping over his comrades to cut through the arrogance of a Persian messenger, to various persons losing limbs and life in graphic detail (even if I am still wondering at the lack of blood…I mean, arterial pressure dictates that the loss of a head to a swift, clean stroke should send blood shooting at least a foot into the air – so where did it go? I guess you could say I was rather clinical whilst watching this…).

What, one might ask, is in the film for the girls? The only major female character, Queen Gorgo, is expanded from the novel, and given a more noble final development than what is accorded to her in legend, but she is still more of an attraction for male eyes, methinks. But well, one cannot help noticing the 8-packs – defined more clearly through the use of make-up, but definitely real, thanks to an insane training regime that had Gerald Butler, in his own words, looking “like a Greek god” but feeling like an 80-year-old man… If the women wore little, the men wore even less *grins*

But ultimately, what made 300 fun was that the characters and actors themselves just reveled in the borderline campiness that permeates the film. The dialogue, some of which is itself legend (remembered by divisions in the present-day Greek army), had just the right amount of virility in it, working despite the strange accents that supposedly stand for Ancient Greek tones. I’d buy it for the dialogue (then we’ll fight in the shade!), as well as the visuals (let’s face it, the computer-generated sepia look, punctuated by the Spartans’ red capes, looks cool…). There may only be the barest of plots, the most minimal character development, and supposed overtones that have caused people taking the film too seriously to compare it to what is happening in the Iraq, but what Zack Snyder set out to achieve is there…and that’s just awesome. 6.5/10

I don’t think I’ve made much sense…I’ll just reiterate that it was mainly a couple of things made this film quite enjoyable for me. Anyways, just one left…maybe tomorrow…

About karice
MAG fan, translator, and localization project manager. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

One Response to Review: 300

  1. Pingback: Quick Impression: Iron Man « opinionated? well…sort of…

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