I’ll make this one short and sweet. Do you like “Gladiator”? Do you like “Lord Of The Rings”? If you do, chances are, you will like “300.” Based on a graphic novel by the same man who wrote “Sin City,” this one is not quite as violent but still is rather enjoyable.
As far as I remember from the fifth grade and the “History Of The Ancient World” class, this is a fairly accurate depiction of the famous Battle of Thermopylae (480 B.C.E.), where 300 Spartans defended a narrow passage from a 100 000 Persian army and all died on that spot. Two famous expressions from that event: “Come and get it!” and “Our arrows will shadow the sun!” – “Then we will fight in the shade.” All characters in the movie are walking cartoons (a “graphic novel” is, after all, a fancy word for a comic book) with very few human emotions, and that makes “300” inherently inferior to “Troy” (which is one of my all-time favorite pseudo-historic films). But the three problems with this movie are: (1) freaks (2) freedom and (3) Republican propaganda. This movie clearly chases after imagery instead of reality and perceptions instead of people. An executioner with saws-for-arms, a hunchback who looks like a human-size tumor, elephants straight from the “Return Of The King” CGI files: they all create a Fellini-esque orgy of images and perceptions. If that doesn’t bother you, move on. Constant repeating of the word “freedom” grates me like a rusty saw. Used in practically every Hollywood war movie since “Braveheart,” it does nothing but irritates me. For one, Spartans had a very different definition of the word “freedom.” In fact, there were more slaves (“helots”) in their society than freemen.