Sunday, August 12, 2007


300 (2007)

Directed by: Zack Snyder
Written by: Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad & Michael B. Gordon, based on the comic by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley
Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, David Wenham, Dominic West, Vincent Regan, Michael Fassbender, Tom Wisdom, Andrew Pleavin, Andrew Tiernan, Rodrigo Santoro, Giovani Antonio Cimmino, Stephen McHattie

A lot of people got very pissed off about this movie. I don't blame them. It's an uber-stylized, super-macho piece of American propaganda which portrays Easterners (specifically Persians) as evil, disgusting, freak-show monsters with their weird things with saws for arms and shit. A lot of it looked like something out of The Hills Have Eyes. And then of course there was the whole homosexuality thing (of course they're evil, they're all bi. What the fuck?!)

It tells the story of the 300 Spartans who went up against the entire Persian army and lost really badly. I'm not really a history aficionado, but it seems to me that they took a few liberties with the historical details.

Not that that really matters. What matters is that it's complete bullshit. And offensive bullshit. Even though I'm not Persian, I don't have a whole lot of Persian in me whatsoever, that still really pisses me off.

It ripped off movies like Gladiator in the style of the fight scenes and the music. It was really just another epic battle movie, except it only focused on one battle. Gladiator had one big one, plus a bunch of little ones and a lot of filler - Lord of the Rings had at least two per movie. This movie only had one. It was two hours long and it only had one battle. Mind you, it was mostly shot in slow motion.

Again, it was way too frigging macho - I mean, it's about a bunch of really muscular guys wearing little black speedos killing the shit out of each other. And screaming. Always screaming.

It wasn't particularly well written. The dialogue (not that there was a whole lot of that) was bogus ("our arrows will black out the sun" "then we will fight in the shade"; "tonight we dine in hell" fucking bogus). The narration was not only bad, but it was also unnecessary. And it was done by David Wenham. I'm very fond of David Wenham, but he has a funny voice.

Everything was monochromatic and obviously CGI. They used computer graphics way more than was necessary. I guess it's cheaper than hiring a whole fuckload of extras, but it looks like shit.

It was actually kind of funny for a while - I mean, everyone in it sounded slightly retarded. Especially Gerard Butler. What accent was that exactly? He's Scottish, but he sure as hell didn't sound like it. I usually like him, but not a whole lot in this. And there were funny lines, like "pile those Persians high". That made me snicker ever so much.

Eventually the funny wore away and I just got bored. By the time the elephants (which bore an uncanny resemblance to the mumakil of LOTR) came out, I had stopped caring. Because there was only one battle scene and nothing else. There was something going on with Lena Headey, but I'm dammed if I know what the point of it was.

It was directed by the same guy who did the remake of Dawn of the Dead, and you can really tell when the blood starts a-splattering. I liked Dawn of the Dead a hell of a lot more than this movie. He did a better job of it. He should go back to zombie movies.

And it's obviously based on a comic book. There were a number of shots I recognized from the comic (or graphic novel or whatever), particularly the one of the people falling off the cliff. I like that shot.

But anyway, the end credits were cool. What with they're silhouettes and they're blood splatters. They were sort of the best part of the movie... the rest was just dull.


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