March 9, 2007 300
Studio: Warner Bros. Rating: R for graphic battle sequences throughout, some sexuality and nudity.
The story of a legendary battle between an overwhelming invading force and a small group of defenders is once again being told on the big screen.
In the wake of the successful adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel "Sin City," "300" is the latest attempt to turn the comic book author and illustrator's work into a major motion picture.
Spartan King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) wrestle with the future of their country when the self-proclaimed god/king Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) sets his sights on conquering Sparta and all of Greece.
The corrupt Spartan government refuses to send the country's army to fight, so Leonidas defies the law and gathers 300 of his greatest warriors to take a "walk." He plans to travel north to a narrow area along the coast known as the "Hot Gates." It is there Leonidas and the Spartans will meet Xerxes' Persian hordes in an epic struggle between tyranny and freedom.
"300" is one of the most visually stunning movies I've ever seen. The photography, battle scenes and special effects are outstanding. The story is pretty simple. The world's greatest warriors refuse to retreat or surrender. They battle against overwhelming odds to the death. But the way it's put together is what makes "300" so satisfying. Miller's vision which he put on paper with ink and brush is flawlessly recreated on the screen. Butler's king is strong and true. The Spartan soldiers are killing machines. And in a movie dominated by men, Headey is wonderful in a scene where she asks the government to help her husband and his loyal troops.
Director Zack Snyder has crafted a unique and interesting movie with sights and sounds that sweep you away. Although entertaining, it is violent and very bloody and probably not appropriate for younger viewers. This is not your ordinary superhero comic book movie but that doesn't make it any less appealing.
On my rating scale, "300" hits a Home Run.
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