Reviews: Three Hundred
150% style, -50% substance.
If anyone knows Zack Snyder, by now you may have realized two things about him: 1. He sucks at plot 2. He's fantastic with creating a comic-like imagery on camera. He has the ability to really direct movies and action scenes in a way that looks like it came straight out of a comic book. High contrast images along with quick movement linking slow-motion frames. Some people complain about the slow motion disrupting the action. I think it's just the opposite - the slow motion frames are the ones to pay attention to; they are straight out of an illustration. The movement and action in between are just to link to the next panel of the comic in this movie. So, that's basically what 300 is. It's an action film. With style. It's got minimal plot, and basically everything is an excuse for Manly Men to do Manly Things. It is absolutely style over substance, but that's pretty much the point of this film. The good guys are so manly they have their exposed abs instead of armour. The villains are ugly mutated freaks, or faceless mooks. Don't look for anything remotely related to the real-life event it's based on. It tries to have a message, but again, looking into the real-life history of Sparta completely undermines that message. Don't think about it too hard. In fact, don't think at all, just watch.
A more accurate title for this film would have been 'Extremely Heterosexual Males' (well, not 'extremely'), every guy I know has seen in and there's a lot of hacking off of limbs, spurting blood and bizarre slow-motion scenes but it's lacking in plot. In the end the only bit of the movie I remembered was that Persian man falling into that oddly placed pit. Heh-heh. Good times.
A weak and immature attempt of epic
"300" would please the fans of the graphic novel in which this film is inspired, rather than those who are interested in historical accuracy or at least, something less exaggerated or ridiculous. (Ironically enough, the comic book of Frank Miller was inspired in "The 300 Spartans" that is a much better film in almost all the aspects, and it had a more interesting and realistic portrayal of the Battle of Thermopylae) The plot, despite the violence and the nudity, is nothing but a childish amount of clichés as present as the good guys as handsome, muscular and tanned, while the "bad guys" are weak, ugly and effeminate, ridiculous use of the most obvious and blatant stereotypes, and a MTV-visual technique flashy enough to please those who prefer style over substance, but not enough good to make us forget about the lack of deep, characterization or anything that could have made this film more interesting than it actually is. If your looking for mindless violence and cartoonish characterization of events in bold sepia tones and loud digitally mastered sound, then "300" will be your cup of tea. If not, try "The 300 Spartans", which is a fairly superior film.