300 (2006)

Reid, 5. April 2007, 20:12

Dir. Zack Taylor

I was surprised to find myself liking this film. Why? Well, the previews seem so sparse; it looked like a low-budget, poor quality film. But I ended up really liking this, and I think people like Joel and maybe John and Don should see this. Mitchell and Grace shouldn’t see this. Think of the kind of films a stereotypical guy would like, and this is it.

This is a film about the battle between 300 Spartan warriors and Xerxes’ Persian army. That’s the essential part of the plot–it’s a battle between these two forces. Thematically, the film is about being a warrior. Fighting and being a warrior that’s basically the heart of the film. If you liked Braveheart (similar thematically and in terms of action) and even Gladiator (action period film), you’d probably like this. I like 300 better than both.

The casting, direction and music make the execution of these themes and plot give the film its worth. I especially like Gerald Butler as Leonides: he’s not only built like a warrior, but he acts like one, and he has a Greek look to boot.

Many of you know that I like good action scenes. There are some really good ones in this. I like the way Taylor uses slow-motion, in a way very similar to the Wachowski brothers in the Matrix films. The lighting (and I don’t know what else) gives the film an almost animated look. I heard that the film is very similar in terms of look and the scenes to the graphic novel on which it’s based. If so, perhaps Frank Miller deserves more of the credit. The film looks good and, again, the action scenes–mostly sword fights–are well-executed.

If you’re not into fighting scenes, then you probably wouldn’t want to see this. It’s almost one battle scene after another, or at least it feels that way. But the artistry and execution of those scenes are really top notch. I must admit I got caught up in the warrior ethic, too.

You are the first person I know who is older than twenty years of age and really liked this movie. Until this moment, I’ve told students that I probably won’t see it because the only people I knew who liked it were…students. However, based on this review, I guess I still won’t be seeing it.


My sense was that younger audiences liked 300, too, which partly explains why I wasn’t excited to see this.

Part of the reason I liked it was that I am a fan of Frank Miller’s (the illustrator of comic books). I found this one more satisfying than Sin City for some reason.

I’m also a big fan of action, and the action sequences were executed well. Finally, there’s another element in the film that resonates with me–and is often found in films that I love–and that is this idea of putting aside one’s well-being, even life, for some higher principle.

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