You must be Xerxes

With my fingers so far from the pulse, I only got round to seeing '300' yesterday. Now, I'm a big film fan, as I hope comes across on this site, so I was pretty keen to see what all the fuss was about (two months ago). The visuals were great, of course. I'm a big fan of slo-mo clumps of blood flying around, giant rhinos and elephants, as well as deformed giants and priests and dudes falling off a cliff in silhouette, so in that respect it was satisfying. The battles are certainly engaging and spectacular.

Unfortunately, that's really all the film has going for it. When there aren't massive, hugely stylistic orgiastic displays of violence onscreen, I was waiting for the massive, hugely stylistic orgiastic displays of violence to return onscreen. Who cares about corrupt priests drooling over a barely-dressed siren? Can this subplot involving the Queen and a corrupt politician end now? There isn't any substance to '300' at all, and whilst that's sort of what I expected, I was still surprised at how empty and joyless it all came across as. I love a good decapitation, but by the fiftieth one, I couldn't wait for the film to end. It's a big, loud, bloody effort which never really connects on any level other than bloodlust, unfortunately.

I know they adapted the comic book frame-by-frame, and that it's a big deal to be so faithful to the source material. I mean, good, but that makes it leaden and the dialogue is horribly clunky. That said, if every film could use the phrase "traitor hunchback" from now on, perhaps this world would be a better place to live in. As for the parallels with current world affairs - I couldn't take the film seriously enough to really compare the Spartans to modern day America. It's just so silly. At one point the Queen says "Freedom isn't free"and I had the Team America song in my head for the rest of the film. I'm not sure what the lesson of '300' is - something about pride, bravery, death, honour, or just bitchin' use of blue-screen technology. I love a good looking film, but there has to be something more, and effects alone weren't enough for me to enjoy '300'.


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