Starring: Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, David Wenham, Michael Fassbender, Dominic West
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Written By: Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad, Michael Gordon
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 57 min
Keep in mind, this is an adaptation of a graphic novel, which in turn is very loosely based on a true story. That should tell you enough as to the historical accuracy of this film. However, historical accuracy is clearly not the end game here. This is graphic novel that moves! It’s an exercise in over the top stylish violence, and a bloody good one too.
As a purely visual spectacle, it doesn’t get much better than this. Every scene looks like it was cast in polished bronze. It also moves well, using just the right amount slow motion during the battle scenes to highlight a killing strike or defensive move. The story is simple enough, but it also feels important. That’s despite the fact most of the ‘uber-buff’ cast are half-naked for most of the film! But this isn’t all muscle and no brains. If it was, 300 could have easily been unintentional hilarious! Fine performances from the cast, especially from Gerard Butler, bring an emotional weight to the film. This in turn makes it possible to look beyond the visuals, because you’ll find this film has more to offer.
This is very violent, but in a cartoonish way. More style than raw blood thirsty gore. That style inspired other productions such as the Spartacus TV series and the more recent (though terrible) Legend of Hercules. The plot is pretty simple and easy enough to process. This is mostly style over substance. But it’s not totally devoid of substance. So if you are okay with that – enjoy!
If a theater near you were screening this I’d certainly recommended you watch this on the big screen. At home, a HD showing is the way to go.
Best moment for me: << mild spoiler >>
The ‘This is SPARTA!’ moment. Right before King Leonidas (Gerald Butler) kicks a Persian messenger into a deep dark pit.
References: Rotten Tomatoes