Thursday, March 6, 2014

Movie Review: "300" (2006)

Image Source

Movie: "300"
Director: Zack Snyder
Year: 2006
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 57 minutes

Sparta is a Greek city of warriors. At birth, all children are examined for weaknesses and deformities, and if any are found, the child is cast away. From childhood, they are trained to be fighters and soldiers, are separated from their mothers, and eventually put through trials that many do not survive. 

Leonidas (Gerard Butler) is king of Sparta. The king of Persia, Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), has sent a messenger to ask the Spartans to bow to his will and pay tribute to him in order to avoid being destroyed by the Persian army. Leonidas kills the king’s messenger at the mere suggestion that the Spartans would give up without a fight. Due to old traditions, Sparta cannot go to war without the blessing of the Ephors, a circle of elders who hold power over the king. They do not give their blessing as they have been paid off by Persia in order to keep Sparta out of the war. In response, Leonidas takes 300 men as his personal bodyguards to meet the Persians on the battlefield. These 300 men meet up with the other tribes of Greece to stand against a gigantic Persian army that is said to number in the millions. Despite being outnumbered, they are willing to give their last breath to defend Sparta.

Abs, abs, abs.....SO MANY ABS.

Welcome to the first film of many in the "historically inaccurate, hyper-stylized epics" genre.

Watching this movie is like watching a live-action oil painting. Every scene looks like it has been "painted" digitally. The sets are not real, they are all artistic, fake, and over-the-top. Every drop of blood is meticulously put in its specific spot, dripping slowly in a deep shade of red from the swords and heads of many. There is a lot of slow motion in this film that leads to the eventual speeding up of the camera. This seems done on purpose to convey the drawings seen in Frank Miller's graphic novel of the same name.

Having only seen this film once or twice several years ago, it was fun to go back and watch for things you missed the first go around. The gigantic "WUT" for us was the fact that this is Oscar nominated Michael Fassbender's first movie role. Knowing that he is now, arguably, in the upper echelon of actors, it's funny to watch him prance around in a loin cloth at Gerard Butler's side. You don't really need a genius actor to play "shirtless Spartan #7," so the acting here isn't what the movie's about. There's A LOT of yelling, tons of grunting, and a lot of one-liners that were driven into the ground many, many years ago. The story is solid and keeps you interested and engaged. Quite possibly the best part of this movie is Xerxes, who is quite captivating as a villain and is simply ~*fabulous,~* but has unfortunately become the butt of a lot of jokes in years since.

Apparently, this movie was so successful that now we all get to relive this sensation and see "300: Rise of an Empire" as it comes out on the big screen this weekend. I cannot wait to see gold-dipped Xerxes!!!!!!!!!!!

My Rating: 8/10
BigJ's Rating: 9/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 60%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!


  1. Josh should know that his second great grandfather, Lycurgus Jarvis, was named for a famous Spartan lawgiver who listened to the Oracle at Delphi.
    Lycurgus (pronounced /laɪˈkɜrɡəs/; Greek: Λυκοῦργος, Lykoûrgos; Ancient Greek: [lykôrɡos]; (c. 820–730 BC?)[citation needed] was the legendary lawgiver of Sparta, who established the military-oriented reformation of Spartan society in accordance with the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi. All his reforms were directed towards the three Spartan virtues: equality (among citizens), military fitness, and austerity.[1]

    He is referred to by ancient historians and philosophers Herodotus, Xenophon, Plato, Polybius, Plutarch and Epictetus. It is not clear if this Lycurgus was an actual historical figure; however, many ancient historians[2] believed Lycurgus was responsible for the communalistic and militaristic reforms that transformed Spartan society, most notably the Great Rhetra. Ancient historians place him in the first half of the 8th century BC.[citation needed]
    ...just as long as we're talkin' Sparta here.....

    1. I will let him know, that's pretty cool! :)