Thursday, March 8, 2007

300

Posted on Thu, Mar 8, 2007 at 4:00 AM

****
300
Studio: Warner Bros.
Rated: R
Website: http://300themovie.warnerbros.com/
Release Date: 2007-03-09
Cast: Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, Michael Fassbender, Vincent Regan, Dominic West
Director: Zack Snyder
WorkNameSort: 300
Our Rating: 4.00
300 is a steroid-fueled fantasy of male bloodlust inspired by Frank Miller's graphic novel about the ancient Battle of Thermopylae between Greek Spartans ' a warrior culture unparalleled in human history ' and the invading, million-strong army of Persians hell-bent on squashing Greece's burgeoning democracy. Long story short: 300 of these Spartans hold off the entire Persian force for three days and, though eventually defeated, their deaths inspire the rest of Greece to unify. Director Zack Snyder understands the balance between reality and mythology and renders the movie using a technique much like Sin City's (also based on a Miller graphic novel), except in full color, so that the exaggerated, stylized carnage takes on an almost Homeric beauty while still remaining in the historical ballpark. A lot of this is a credit to Miller, whose comic-book source material is often recreated frame by frame, but just as much is due to the actors, led by Gerard Butler as King Leonidas, who transformed their bodies into muscle-bound machines and slice into their roles so passionately that it's hard not to leave the theater wanting to become a Spartan and cut off a few Persian heads of your own. (R)

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