Sunday, November 4, 2012

Review: 300

Director: Zack Snyder

Starring: Gerard Butler, David Wenham, Lena Headey

Year: 2006

Genre: Action/Adventure

Rated: R

Length: 117 min.

IMDB Summary: King Leonidas and a force of 300 men fight the Persians at Thermopylae in 480 B.C.

Despite impressive cinematic effects and action sequences, 300 falls flat with cardboard acting and gross exploitation of history. Most of Butler's acting consists of shouting, grunting and muttering, portraying the Spartans as robotic fighting machines. The only memorable aspect of Butler's performance was the "This is Sparta!" moment. Even this scene, however, pales in comparison to what it might have been. Perhaps what most irked me was the exploitation of history. Of course, other films have had to fudge on their historical accuracy in order to create a viewable film. However, the exploitation of history in 300 portrays the Spartans as godlike fighters who are somehow more refined and moral than the Persians, who are portrayed as perverted, glutenous and effeminate men. This portrayal offended various officials in Iran and caused the Iranian Academy of the Arts to submit a formal complaint to UNESCO, calling the film an attack on the "historical identity of Iran." Besides its exclusive focus on the vices of the Persians, 300 ignores the fact that the Spartans themselves engaged in practices such as pederasty (an ongoing, socially acceptable form of child molestation) and were the biggest slave owners in Greece. Also, the film ignores the fact that Sparta's practice of exposing babies was regarded as cruel and unrefined by other Greek city-states, such as Athens, and advocates for eugenics (when Butler's character says that a deformed character cannot fight, causing the audience to think he should have been exposed). Although 300 has a great soundtrack and fighting sequences that are visually engaging, it lacks decent acting and it grossly exploits history to create a cardboard plot.

For Parents:
Violence, language and an orgy

My Rating:

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