Thursday, March 01, 2007
Movie Review: '300'
I was able to get into a screening of the movie '300' last night. The experience beforehand was weird enough to where it could be its own post (there was a talent contest on stage beforehand to win free stuff from a radio station, and UFC light-heavyweight champion 'The Iceman' Chuck Liddell showed up and answered questions for some odd reason), but that's for another post.
In my almost 32 years, I've seen many, many films (over 1,600 by my last count). I've seen most of the American classics, and I've seen many of the foreign classics as well. And yet, I can say that none of the films I've ever seen are quite as bad-ass as '300'. In fact, this may be the most bad-ass film ever made. The whole attitude of the film can't be summed up any other way. It talks the talk early on, and it walks the walk throughout the rest of the film.
Fans of the graphic novel will be ecstatic. If any liberties were taken with the story, they were extremely minor, and I'm going to have to go back and read it again to remember them. If anything, there may not have been enough blood (although there's plenty of carnage). For all the arrows and spears being run through people, there's a distinct lack of blood (other than some spurts in a couple of well-staged slo-mo scenes). All of the decapitations are clean, cauterized cuts. However, this is probably due to it needing an R rating. Why less blood would matter is pretty stupid, but there's a history of that, so I accepted it. I think most people will too.
Basically, when you see this on March 9th or later, you will see a beautiful film. Beautiful in the CGI backgrounds. Beautiful in the performers (who all seem to be carved out of silicon). Beautiful in the choreography of the violence. And, beautiful in the story, which gives you more than you might be expecting.
In fact, if I have but one complaint, it's the pacing. There are essentially two stories going on: The physical war at the Hot Gates (led by the king), and the political war at home (led by the queen). The build-up to the war at the Hot Gates is very intense, so once it comes, you're more than ready for it. Then, they cut to the war at home, to show more of how the queen is fighting for Sparta to send their entire army in defense of its land. It's a worthwile plotline, especially once it's over (the denouement got the loudest applause from the audience). However, you're worked up for the battle scenes, you get some, and then ... we're sent back to Sparta. It's quite a cocktease, and some aren't going to like it while it's happening, but trust me when I say that you'll get a good release from it. And I'm sorry, but this entire film is one gigantic sexual metaphor, so I think I can be excused just this once. Let's just say that fans of flesh (male or female) won't be disappointed.
Long story short? It's completely worth your eight bucks. My complaints are very minor, and my praise is very strong. Go see it on March 9th. Just don't bring the young children. It's one of the hardest 'R' rated films I've seen in years.