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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 22.06%
Average: 8.33%
Pretty Bad: 14.22%
Total Crap: 21.57%

10 reviews, 144 user ratings

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by Erik Childress

"What Are Your Turnoffs? Persians."
4 stars

When Robert Rodriguez defied the by-laws of the director’s guild and insisted that graphic novelist, Frank Miller, receive a helmer credit on Sin City he was making a statement of absolute. One does not exist without the other. His language. His illustrations. Rodriguez translated it verbatim and the film became a living, breathing tribute to the pages Miller created. In the interim before Rodriguez gets around to doing the next chapter of Miller’s world of crime and revenge, someone in Hollywood was already on the hunt for the next scoop from the flavor of the month. His work on the Batman comics had already formed the beginnings of Christopher Nolan’s brilliantly revamped franchise, but someone over at Warner Bros. may have been struck by a story he heard during a screening of The Last Samurai. The story of 300 Spartans who fought against the army of a near million to maintain their freedom. Lucky for them, Miller had a vision of this legendary tale and another director by the name of Zack Snyder who knew how to pay proper homage to both Miller and the legend.

In Sparta, warriors are bred. Any imperfections at birth and you’re tossed away. The story of Leonidas (Gerard Butler) begins with his training and eventual cunning as a hunter to his rise of the throne. In 480 B.C. King Xerxes marched out dispatches with gifts bearing a friendly kneel-before-Zod or be conquered to all of the Grecian states. After insulting king, country and especially his beloved and strong-willed wife, Gorgo (Lena Headey), the messenger is literally killed by the King; a no-no at the time (and probably bad form in any time.) After being denied his desire to go to war by the “oracle” (who gives him a full body dry heave of a “no”), Leonidas gathers his best 300 and march towards Xerxes invaders.

Pausing only briefly here-and-there to document the Shakespearean intrigue back in Sparta where the Queen tries to plead her case for more troops over the objections of throne-hungry, Theron (Dominic West), 300 puts us on the front line through battle and breaktime strategy. Every piercing, slashing and beheading is front and center forming the kind of orgiastic tango of bloodletting that would have Peckinpah offering Zack Snyder a cigar. As CGI bursts of plasma and gore go, 300 makes every platelet come alive where other films have simply used it as a simplistic replacement for corn syrup and squibs. Where John Woo reduced slow-motion to a gimmick, Snyder uses it as a constant like a weightless waltz to the next stab for independence. The two or three exceptionally realized battle sequences are so right-on that you wish Miller’s vision had room for just one more for the final stand which is over just as quickly as it begins.

Any dissatisfaction at the end is tempered by the overall sense of glory personified in the performance of Gerard Butler. Whatever curse movie geeks have feared with his presence in films like Tomb Raider 2, Beowulf & Grendel and The Phantom of the Opera, 300 lifts it and gives Butler the role he’s been waiting to sink his chiseled physique into. The disasterous Phantom notwithstanding, Butler has been an appealing presence on film – particularly in the little seen Dear Frankie where he got to put the weapons down and play a stranger hired to be the pretend father to a deaf child – but this an alpha male performance in every stretch of the term; the kind that would make James Bond go “damn!”

You’ll notice that its hard (there I go again) not to drift into what lesser enthused viewers will see as homoerotic to the max. (And for fans of such, may I suggest Wild Hogs.) To me, a few female nipples is more than enough to counter the 600-or-so male ones on display, but the inner immaturity can’t help but surface during lines like “I find thrust” or “Only the hard and strong may call themselves Spartans.” Chuckle away all you want “while offering your backside to the thespians” on your journey through “the hot gates” but at the risk of sensitivity rehab, 300 is far less gay than both (the similarly WB-produced) Troy and Alexander (no matter how many versions Oliver Stone recuts for DVD) and through its respect and honor for Miller’s work actually elevates the genre to a former glory. Who cares if anyone thinks it makes the sword-and-sandals epics of the ‘50s and ‘60s look like Tim Hardaway’s porn collection?

Miller’s blend of historical gravitas with the fantastical sights of Sloth-like deformities and Quasimoto-esque creatures of ally gives 300 the otherworldly quality that we need to believe the legendary odds surmounted. The baroque language that was such a staple of Sin City appears in fits and spurts between the rhythms of narration spiced with the classic poetry that first documented the Battle of Thermopylae and all its “blood drunk” grandeur.

In the nature of history doomed to repeat itself, it will be interesting to see how special interest groups (and by that, I mean, liberals and conservatives) view the reappearance of King Leonidas’ story. Republicans can look to him as the savior who fought against all odds to keep his people from tyranny while the Dems see a warmongering leader whose Congress won’t support him (just as their symbol is repeatedly flung off a cliff.) Or is just the opposite with Xerxes representing the most powerful army in the world picking a fight with a King who won’t comply? I prefer to get involved more at the David vs. Goliath level, politics aside, and witness the further growth of an exciting new action filmmaker in Snyder and what can only be the amplified appreciation for Frank Miller’s work. At a time when the imagination of comics-to-film is running out with F-level adaptations of Fantastic Four, The Punisher and Ghost Rider, it’s time to seek out another dimension towards the graphic novel. And it doesn’t get much more graphic than Frank Miller.

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originally posted: 03/09/07 16:07:24
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell good movie skip the sequel 4 stars
3/17/16 Charles Tatum You just can't get past those visuals. 4 stars
10/13/13 David H. Historically inaccurate, but has great eye candy. 3 stars
10/22/12 Sean Harrison A bit corny, but still entertaining. One of the better graphic novel based movies. 4 stars
9/11/11 Captain00Kirk Over-rated, too much slo-mo and low on story. 3 stars
9/11/10 Barbara Leaf Not my type movie but I LOVED IT. Sex, gore....I couldn't get enough. 5 stars
6/01/10 User Name With it's cheesy lines and stylized violence, 300 reaches guy movie greatness. 3 stars
3/21/10 J-Dawg Sex, violence, and mindless action. Pretty much sums up 300. 1 stars
9/12/09 R.W. Welch Stylized but still effective treatment of legendary battle. C+ 3 stars
8/20/09 Monday Morning I haven't seen so many 6-packs since my Miller Brewery tour. 4 stars
8/15/09 Jeff Wilder A popcorn film that's actually entertaining and doesn't insult one's intelligence? Here! 4 stars
4/29/09 Dr.Lao Idiot machismo and cartoony violance with pretentions of being, "art" 2 stars
3/08/09 Rigato Horrible. The Spartans themselves were homosexuals, or at the very least bisexual... 1 stars
2/07/09 man great 5 stars
9/14/08 Samantha Pruitt thought it would be better, needed waaay more blood! 3 stars
9/03/08 Alexandru Totir I found it to be very entertaining to watch, quite good, and the actors look stunning & hot 4 stars
8/07/08 Shaun Wallner Bloody Awesome!!! 5 stars
7/21/08 Bob? Hilarious review. Nailed it. 1 stars
6/29/08 AnnieG A good adaptation of a graphic novel, but would have preferred to see a historical version. 3 stars
6/14/08 Karrie M action packed and the guys were HOT, loved it 5 stars
5/25/08 Max Sloppily over the top, and dripping with ugly, heavy-handed right wing propaganda. 1 stars
5/07/08 Crispy Plenty of you ignorant fools will lap this up and Hollywood knows it 2 stars
5/02/08 Greets "the film is simplistic, vapid, soulless, boring" I agree, although I liked the first 20m 2 stars
4/20/08 mark madsen this a good movie. alittle far fetch. 4 stars
3/07/08 Matty! this movie was awesome. just because we don't all hug trees like you tards... 5 stars
3/04/08 europa America should embrace the Spartans "Newborn Policy". 5 stars
2/02/08 surfer Thinly veiled glorification of fascist ideology - perfect aryans against subhuman cripples 1 stars
1/29/08 Rollie It's as if Cornelius is trying to say Frank Miller didn't get it right the first time. 5 stars
1/14/08 David Graham Visualy glorious and entertaining war movie, THIS IS SPARTA. 5 stars
12/09/07 Keystra Williams THIS IS SPARTA! 5 stars
10/27/07 tracey chambers eye candy for sure. worth checking out 4 stars
10/17/07 TreeTiger ENTERTAINING..!!! 5 stars
10/12/07 Spliff Well and truly entertained me, but not as good as the original 4 stars
10/10/07 Bitchflaps The men are fuckable, but the film is simplistic, vapid, soulless, boring and ugly. 1 stars
10/07/07 Vincent Visually stunning, very entertaining flick 4 stars
9/24/07 Jason Great movie, but perhaps a little overrated 3 stars
9/11/07 JeromeBoch This movie did what it was intended to do; it entertained the Hell out of me! Loved the CGI 5 stars
9/10/07 QC Extraordinary. Revolutionary cinematography. The best movie of the year so far. 5 stars
9/09/07 Blitcher God, what a waste of resources, digital or not... 2 stars
8/31/07 I-K Mysogyny, demonised enemy, rank exaggeration... EXACTLY what a war story retold would be! 5 stars
8/28/07 mb Truly Terrible and Not Recommended 1 stars
8/15/07 vinman29 Fell asleep twice--repetitive battle scenes 2 stars
8/13/07 Joe Smaltz They didn't say it was a cartoon 1 stars
8/09/07 Ron People never cease to amaze me. I wonder what kind of crap movies they like 4 stars
7/15/07 the young one yes the lack of armour was rather bad but i guess the whole plot seemed very nice to me 4 stars
7/14/07 Vincent Ebriega It's no "Lord of the Rings", and really shouldn't be. 3.5/5 4 stars
7/11/07 Hello Stranger visually stunning yes. acting and script? total crap 1 stars
7/10/07 GS2 Worst movie of the year, maybe more. Starting with the name, they should have called it 25. 1 stars
7/03/07 William Goss A traditionally gripping epic tale wrapped in modern visual splendor. 5 stars
7/03/07 lotr fan i asked for mayo...THIS IS TARTAR 5 stars
7/02/07 Tanya g very hollywood 2 stars
7/01/07 Lydia Helton Edges out Alexander among just-watchable ancient historical dramas. 2 stars
6/19/07 Abs This Movie revels in it's Machoness!!! 5 stars
5/28/07 fools♫gold REMEMBER this film; think about it. That's all that the "Spartans" wish. 5 stars
5/15/07 movieman lame 1 stars
5/09/07 Anthony A contender for not only worst movie of the year, but worst movie of the decade. 1 stars
4/27/07 Straight guy guys, it's only gay if you're a little 'curious' and want to hide that. great entertainment 5 stars
4/27/07 Dude lame 1 stars
4/26/07 Dave gay war porn 1 stars
4/25/07 Nicole M No naval battle, no armour, no realism... no point. 1 stars
4/23/07 Stevo UK Complete bullshit. 1 stars
4/22/07 UvIndex Dumb movie. Nice graphics, and nothing more than that. 2 stars
4/19/07 grendel73 This movie was awesome! The action sequences were amazing. Great cinematography. 5 stars
4/15/07 Maverick Unrealistic?!.. no, comics are realistic. i suppose Sin City is unrealistic too, or Batman? 5 stars
4/12/07 Jake Unrealistic battles, and SUPERGAY. 1 stars
4/12/07 Indrid Cold Weak story, but the most intense, visually stunnning battles since Saving Private Ryan. 4 stars
4/11/07 Double M Stunning cinematography, visuals and some of the craziest, most intense battle scenes ever 5 stars
4/10/07 Kelly loooved tho action! nothing can beat Gladiator though 4 stars
4/09/07 Will Prepare for Honor! Prepare for Glory! A good ol' spleen-stabbin, leg-choppin action film 5 stars
4/08/07 Vin Passionate & hardcore....makes GLADIATOR look like sesame street! 5 stars
4/07/07 Pooly Actually Peter, I enjoyed Troy more than this! 2 stars
4/05/07 Sumixam Great movie - Visually stunning 5 stars
4/05/07 Anthony 300, how bad is thee? Let me count the ways . . . 1 stars
4/02/07 Joe Amazing, really pushed the bar with visuals 5 stars
3/31/07 Alice Loved Sin City but this was crap. CRAP ! 1 stars
3/30/07 M Amazing.... the only ppl who wont like it are those who loved "little Man" & "Borat" 5 stars
3/30/07 Grigory Unintentionally hilarious; lady with mole was ugly. 2 stars
3/29/07 Stephen Outstanding. Not as historically inaccurate as some make out. Definitelty big screen, big s 5 stars
3/29/07 malcolm decent modern take on an ancient culture and historic event 4 stars
3/28/07 Ruperd those men r do sxy!!OH ye and ur all gay 1 stars
3/27/07 Rachel Hilarious. (Not to mention sexy man candy). 4 stars
3/27/07 Obi Wan Must See! Great eye candy and best action scenes in a long time! 5 stars
3/25/07 euge That was so fucking awesome...NOT 1 stars
3/25/07 Steve Newman what a load of crap 1 stars
3/25/07 Pandababy Some good scenes, but full of dumb crap 3 stars
3/24/07 DEREK most amazing movie ever, who ever gives it less then 4 stars is dumb. 5 stars
3/24/07 Jim Gordon This is the worst film ive seen in my life, total crap 1 stars
3/23/07 Renae It was *intentionally* hilarious and awesome. 5 stars
3/23/07 David Worth a look, a little too much video-game not enough movie though. 4 stars
3/22/07 Johnny Well its awful and sad at the same time, it glorifys militarism, its for simpletons. 2 stars
3/22/07 ES 3/4 of the best movie ever commited to film and then it falters like a dying spartan 4 stars
3/21/07 Jake Bluez Outstanding. Style, action, romance, visually stunning, good actors, great fights. Wow! 5 stars
3/21/07 carniv4 This had to be one of the stupidest movies ever. 2 stars
3/20/07 gatz Genuine adrenaline. 4 stars
3/20/07 SoStraightItHurts Wow... I can't wait to see the gay porn version... oh wait... Did I? 1 stars
3/20/07 Stacy There are quite a few laughable, unintentionally gay moments, but it was mostly fun. 4 stars
3/20/07 Andrew Mind-numbing and instantly forgettable. Hooray. 1 stars
3/20/07 Monster W. Kung It's like a Manowar video: big, loud, dumb, and sort-of-gay. But there's worse. 2 stars
3/20/07 Stanley Thai So far, this is the top movie of 2007! Great film! 5 stars
3/20/07 Ephraim Lee I unfortunately went in looking for a story. The action + visuals were nice though 3 stars
3/20/07 Anthony G Looking for a story? Not here. Looking for badass action? Here you go. 4 stars
3/20/07 dude pretty good 4 stars
3/20/07 Dan Great action, but the scenes in Sparta were useless and a little too cheesy 4 stars
3/19/07 Will A visual spectacle. Like a short story. 5 stars
3/19/07 SPARTANMAN300 BEST WAR/FIGHTING MOVIE EVER!! u dont like it, " Then we will fight in the shade." 5 stars
3/18/07 jess if you liked sin city, you'll love 300, if you didn't like sin city, you'll hate 300 5 stars
3/18/07 Simon it's frank miller, so you know it's shallow and moronic. but at least it's sweet-looking! 2 stars
3/18/07 Shobert 300 is the number of brain cells you lose by watching it. 1 stars
3/17/07 Isaac Unintentionally hilarious and cheesy as hell 1 stars
3/17/07 dICK jENN nice obvious use of dictionary to describe the movie . dipsht! 5 stars
3/17/07 pat horse shit 1 stars
3/15/07 Single Malt A Caravaggio painting come to life, the images stick with you long after the movie ends. 5 stars
3/15/07 rex the worst film i've seen .no hope for film. morons takin over world 1 stars
3/14/07 Elder Made Gladiator look phony. Made Troy look amateur. Breathtaking every 5-7 minutes. 5 stars
3/14/07 Mo Fantastic movie. Honor, duty, glory - all things we need more of in the world. 5 stars
3/14/07 Quigley Not up to the hype. Pretty gross at times and repetitive slo-mo battles. Good visuals. 2 stars
3/14/07 Agglepraxis off-putting and atavistic homophobia (decadence=faginess), but some great action 3 stars
3/14/07 Brian Mckay Masterful action scenes, solid acting, and dream-like visuals. Only drags in a few spots. 4 stars
3/13/07 byzinski Best damn movie yet . Mind blowing action. Patriotic to the core. 5 stars
3/13/07 dmitry I walked out after 20 minutes...Totally worthless 1 stars
3/13/07 Leonidas This is the best Beeping movie to ever grace movie theaters. Tonight, We Dine In Hell!!!!!! 5 stars
3/13/07 big dave yo this movie was the best EVER!! IT DOESN'T GET BETTER any one that says other wise suck 5 stars
3/13/07 Jenn blatant sexism, androcentrism, and ethnocentrism 2 stars
3/13/07 B-Nasty Kickass movie. No other word for it. 5 stars
3/13/07 JH Fantastic. A Greek play about the battle on the big screen. 5 stars
3/13/07 Joe if only I could give a negative rating. 1 stars
3/12/07 Chris Not completely historically correct, although a must see, Fear Wrath from a Spartan woman!! 5 stars
3/12/07 Donny M Awesome. Soft cor porn/action=greatness. 5 stars
3/12/07 Tim LOTR: Check. Gladiator: Check. Jet Li's Hero: Check. But OH MY!!! Borrow from the best!! 5 stars
3/12/07 Rob 300 cliches. Cheesy. 2 stars
3/12/07 Kiver Williams Don't get your hopes up insanely high, and you'll have fun. 8/10 4 stars
3/12/07 bytehead A feast for the eyes. 5 stars
3/12/07 Ole Man Bourbon Good, but not enough men in it. 4 stars
3/11/07 Alex Hypnotic-beautiful imagery-brings the comic alive 5 stars
3/11/07 leonhart-less Slightly anti-climactic, but beautiful beyond words! A must-see! 5 stars
3/11/07 Tom Forsdike Very Violent Very Beautiful! With just enough story to keep it all together, I loved it. 5 stars
3/10/07 Vicious Embrace the carnage and this film will astound you. 5 stars
3/10/07 the wizz I am in shock, The best fuckin movie I have ever seen! I feel like I just had an orgasm-!! 5 stars
3/10/07 Todd That was so fucking awesome. 5 stars
3/10/07 action movie fan far from pure cinematic joy. pompous and arty-too often slow-lord of the rings was better 3 stars
3/09/07 Adrian See it in the IMAX or don't see it at all. This is pure cinematic joy. 5 stars
3/09/07 Darren Shea Wow. Just Wow. 5 stars
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  09-Mar-2007 (R)
  DVD: 31-Jul-2007

  23-Mar-2007 (15)
  DVD: 01-Oct-2007

  05-Apr-2007 (MA)

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