|Genre: Action/Adventure, Drama, Adaptation and War |
|Running Time: 116 min. |
|Release Date: 03/09/2007 (Wide) |
MPAA Rating: R for Graphic battle sequences throughout, some sexuality and nudity
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution
In the ancient Battle of Thermopylae, King Leonidas and 300 Spartans fought to the death against Xerxes and his massive Persian army. Facing insurmountable odds, their valor and sacrifice inspire all of Greece to unite against their Persian enemy, drawing a line in the sand for democracy.
Being a fan of the 1962 version The 300 Spartans I wasn’t sure how this movie would compare. I knew the special effects would be far superior and the battle scenes would be much more intense (i.e. more graphic) but how would the acting and the story hold up? It turns out that while this is no Gladiator, it does a pretty good job of portraying the battle of Thermopylae and drawing us into the plight of the Spartan people.
Gerard Butler is the epitome of valor as King Leonidas and Lena Headey is both tough and beautiful as his queen, Gorgo. Of course there are many liberties taken to make the movie more contemporary including some unusual mutants, elephants, and elaborate Persian warrior costumes but as was requested by Leonidas shortly before his death, the film will make people remember that a small group of free men fought against an overwhelming army of invaders to save their land. And even though they lost the battle, they won the war.
300 is the antithesis of a “chick flick” but those that attend will likely appreciate the Spartan physiques and apparel. The choreography of the battle scenes reminds me of Brad Pitt playing Achilles in Troy and moves the film along at a quick pace. Don’t expect this one to get any acting nods from the Academy but really, is that why you’re thinking about going anyway? 300 is a better than fair film released during a time of the year when most others fall way short of the mark. Grade: B
03/31/2007 - Bob Stanza
03/03/2008 - Lynn Reina