Director: Zack Synder
Cast: Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, David Wenham
and Dominic West
RunTime: 1 hr 57 mins
Released By: Warner Bros
Official Website: 300themovie.com
Day: 8 March 2007
OUR REVIEW ON THE ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK
Based on the epic graphic novel by Frank Miller,
“300” is a ferocious retelling of the ancient
Battle of Thermopylae in which King Leonidas (Gerard Butler)
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. The
film brings Miller’s (Sin City) acclaimed graphic novel
to life by combining live action with virtual backgrounds
that capture his distinct vision of this ancient historic
We Spartans have descended from
Hercules himself. Taught never to retreat, never to surrender.
Taught that death in the battlefield is the greatest glory
he could achieve in his life. Spartans: the finest soldiers
the world has ever known.
Graphic novel, story and art by Frank Miller,
is only one of a tiny, tiny handful of illustrated treatments
of the Thermopylae epic of 480 B.C., when the stand of King
Leonidas and his bodyguard of 300 picked Spartans inspired
all Greece and succeeding generations of freedom lovers.
a deaf ear on the "true" historians, "300"
is a film truly worthy of the word "epic," firstly
because of its hugely dramatic, (kind of) true story. The
legendary Battle of Thermopylae may have first made it to
the screen in 1962's The 300 Spartans(which inspired Miller
himself), but this new cinematic incarnation of the story
is a historical epic unlike any other. It's a stylised action
adventure that takes the sword and sandal genre towards an
exaggerated, dream-like direction. Transferring the dynamic
visuals of the original graphic novel by Frank Miller and
Lynne Varley to the big screen, in a similar manner to previous
Miller adaptation Sin City, the result is a delirious, turbo-charged
roar of a movie that plays like Spartacus on an exotic drug,
perfectly capturing the book's energetic widescreen flavour.
them nothing! But take from them everything!
truly epic as this tale of legendary heroism is, nothing can
properly prepare audiences for the experience of the "300."
"Hyper-epic" may accurately characterize the style
in which this already exhilarating Frank Miller story was
realized on film. From the studio logos to the end credits,
every frame of "300" pulsates and flexes with music
and sound effects pushed completely to the forefront to carry
a dramatic impact. Every shot is poetic. Every close-up is
extreme. Every man is muscle-bound and sculpted. Every woman
is elegantly beautiful. Every monster is hideous and sickening.
Every blow is fatal. Every moment is a moment. Not one second
is wasted leaving audiences exhausted. They will understand
and experience every motivation, every action, and every reaction
that each character in the film makes, because they will see
the world through the unflinching eyes of Frank Miller's Spartans.
Credit for this is of course due to the marvelous direction
of Zack Snyder, although much praise also belongs to Gerard
Butler who is casted bravely from the unknown which will change
soon. Butler embodies completely Miller's King Leonidas, giving
the film all the sincerity and emotional support it needs
to keep from collapsing into a mess of meaningless violence,
painfully clichéd dialogue and pretty pictures. It
is only because of Butler that viewers will not merely understand
the strange culture of Sparta, but also empathize with their
struggle, which is quite a Herculean feat.
is where we fight. This is where they die.
resemblance of "300's" actors to the characters
in Frank Miller's graphic novel is just one of the remarkable
similarities like Robert Rodriguez's "Sin City".
Director Zack Snyder's pays enormous reference to every detail
of Frank Miller's original comic. Each frame of Snyder's film
is soaked in the graphic novel's unforgettable palette of
red and bronze - staged to recreate precisely Miller's statuesque,
melodramatic poses from the author's trademark silhouettes
to use of negative space. Recreated perfectly in the film
from Miller's comic double-page spread format, the pivotal
combat of "300" is beyond what most audience are
expecting, even in a time when clashes on screen has become
routine, its intensity and visual splendor never fails to
notion of "fight choreography" has been thrown into
a new level as its not merely a dozen of men throwing hundreds
of punches and kicks with hardly one landing or, when one
does, causing little to no consequences, "300s defination
is all about killing. The force, might and skill of the Spartans'
every move is fully displayed in shot after bloody shot. Audiences
will leave "300" with the memory of one particular
sequence in which we see in one gorgeous slow-motion/fast-motion/back-to-slow-motion
shot of King Leonidas viciously single-handedly stampeded
a string of armed battle with the Persians. It is glorious.
This is Sparta!
yourself being caught up in the power and passion of the tale,
and in the end, be moved and impassioned by it all, the ending
is particularly powerful and the whole film manages to easily
convey the passion and belief of the Spartan's without making
them unlikeable or too over the top. Frank Miller didn't actually
set out to tell the story of ancient Sparta. Miller told beautifully
the story of the Battle of Thermopylae from the point of view
of the Spartans, and it is an incredible tale. Just a glance
at any random page of "300" reveals immediately
the inspiration Miller felt by the heroism and sacrifice of
Sparta's 300. In what seemed like out of nowhere, Frank Miller
created one of his classic works; that rare kind of comic
book in which every panel lays its author's genuine thrill
in creating it. The makers of the film have left too a similar
stamp on every frame of their movie. Zack Snyder and his collaborators
will be forever acclaimed for all the cool stuff they successfully
brought over from the "300" graphic novel and into
the movie, but that they also managed to bring into cinemas,
like Sin City before, a true Frank Miller vision, and to quote
the fan boy within, "It f*****g kicks ass!".
Enjoy your other limp withered films for now, for tonight
we should dine, blood soaked, with the most aggressive tale
of heroism glorification and courage you'll ever feast your
PS: Stick around once it's
over for some of the coolest blood-splattering end credits.
by Lokman BS