A rising star on the Hollywood scene, Zack Snyder has become famous for his deep love of Slow-mo. Every other shot in all of his movies, From “Guardians of Ga’hoole” to “Dawn of the Dead” is shot in slow motion, and then sped up in the next frame. While this is usually not good in dramatic films (It is one of the various elements that RUINED the “Watchmen” movie) it works well in super stylized action flicks like this one.
Based on a comic book that I have never read, “300” is the extremely inaccurate but extremely awesome account of the battle of Thermopylae. Featuring more fake blood than Wes Craven movie, and enough naked soldiers to invade France, 300 remains a super-cool gem for action fans.
The movie opens with an account of how the future king of Sparta, Leonidas, was trained in combat. As a young boy, he was beaten, left to fight for himself in the mountains, and forced to kill other kids. Gee, if I had a dime for every kindergarten class that mad its kids do that… I’d have 60 cents!
We then cut to Leonidas as a man (Played By Gerard Butler) who is greeted by a messenger from the Persian empire. Persia, Led by xerxes, is the greatest emoire in existence at the time, and is willing to make Leonidas king of all Greece, If he submits to them. Seeing that rhis is a time for caution and good judgment, Leonidas kicks the messenger into a pit, and declares war on the Persians. Well, he might need to take a Leadership prep class, but his slow motion kicking is flawless!
Leonidas then decides to consult some warty old priests in the mountains about fighting the Persians. These priests, who control the will of the entire country, tell him not to go to war. Seeing, again, that it is now a time for wisdom and prudence, Leonidas insults them and goes to war anyway. He leaves his wife in charge of convincing the Spartan government to help. However, the Spartan council is heavily swayed by a consort, who the Persians have bribed. Thus leaving the queen of Sparta with a hard choice to make: Will she kill this man, or bribe him?
Leonidas then makes it to a pass called “the hot gates,” Where he intends to funnel the Persian’s enormous army into small spaces to kill them. This is working very well. Unfortunately, a weird Quasi-Quasimodo hunchback approaches Leonidas, and tells him there is a way for the Persians to attack them from the rear. When Leonidas brushes him off, he decides to sell this information to the Persians instead.
With a heavy metal sound track and more cheesy, motivational speeches than a presidential campaign, “300” is a real crowd pleaser. While it is definitely gratuitous and fan-boyish, what it lacks In substance it makes up in style.It’s hard not to cheer when Leonidas decapitates a Persian soldier, or delivers a super-smarmy speech. Over all, just a plain, fun movie. 8/10.