This movie is an adaptation of Frank Miller’s comic book 300 and is a fictional retelling of the historical Battle of Thermopylae (480 BC), in which King Leonidas of Sparta attempted to prevent the Persian King Xerxes and his 150,000 strong army from conquering Greece.
Despite having just 300 elite fighting Spartans, as well as another 10,000 men at his disposal, King Leonidas’ plan was to counteract the Persian’s superior numbers by engaging them at the narrow coastal passage of Thermopylae, thus buying enough time for the rest of Greece to prepare a hurried defence.
Director Zack Snyder then brings to life this absorbing tale of bravery and heroic courage in such a visually stunning style as to make 300 far and away the best Greek heroic movie ever made.
The cinematography was beautiful, while the camera angles and use of strategic slow motion effects ensured we see every intricate detail of the carefully choreographed fight scenes which make up half the entire movie.
The characters, too, were equally engaging from King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and his wife Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey), to the God-King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) all the way down to the pitiable traitor Ephialtes (Andrew Tiernan).
Of course countless liberties are taken with the plot and events as portrayed in 300, which includes a 9 foot tall effeminate Xerxes, giant elephants, as well as an assortment of fictional creatures and human mutants such as a guy with blades for arms.
But first and foremost, 300 is a gritty, fantasy movie which masterfully captures the intensity of the battle, while creatively illustrating the astonishment many Greeks may have felt when confronted by the wonders of Xerxes’ vast hordes. 300 is also told in the same vein as the ancient poets who glorified death and war, and, as such, is one of the most mind blowing cinematic experiences you are ever likely to enjoy.
Cult classic which spectacularly glorifies the violence of war
- Rated: R
- Action, fantasy, History
- Release Date: 3/9/2007
- Directed by: Zack Snyder
- Starring: David Wenham, Dominic West, Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, Rodrigo Santoro, Vincent Regan
- Produced by: Bernie Goldmann, Gianni Nunnari, Jeffrey Silver, Mark Canton
- Written by: Kurt Johnstad, Michael B. Gordon, Zack Snyder
- Studio: Cruel and Unusual Films, Legendary Pictures, Virtual Studios