Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

300 (2006)

Directed by Zack Snyder

Starring Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, Dominic West, David Wenham


Definitely a visual accomplishment, with some very nice visual effects, but some story and character problems. A lot of comical (literally) liberties were taken, and faithfulness to the original comic may explain some of the movie’s other deficiencies.

The characters are boring. Aside from Spartan pride, the don’t have any other identifiable characteristics, and they certainly don’t have any qualities that would make each of them unique. And without building character, it‚Äôs difficult to build the animosity between the Spartans and the Persians. When we jump right into the battle, I’m not convinced who we should really be rooting for. Should we root for the Spartans just because they SAY they are more honorable? “Spartan honor” this, and “Spartan honor” that, but we never SEE it.

And this “pedal to the metal” style of filmmaking doesn’t really work. Every shot is a dramatic visual effect, every shot is shot from that perfect angle. Every word is delivered as an emotional high point. And what happens is that, instead of being dramatic throughout, it‚Äôs flat. Better to pick your spots for the perfect shot or line of dialogue. A movie needs highs and lows.

An impressive cast of muscles. English and Scottish accents aplenty. Would have been gutsy to film the thing in Greek and use subtitles.

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