Snyder’s striking use of color helps to emphasize and enhance the mood of each scene, and the CGI work is fluid and flawless. With surprisingly fleshed out characters and a plot that’s both simple and deep, 300 blends bloody violence, sensuality, brutality, and moments of true beauty into an intoxicatingly unconventional film experience.
Strategic placement allows Leonidas and his men the opportunity to efficiently dispense with thousands of hapless Persians without suffering many losses of their own. Even an elephant and a rhino are no match for the well-oiled machine that is the Spartan army. In a particularly stunning move, the Spartans use dead Persians to shore up a wall, effectively creating a barrier to hide behind and psyching out the enemy at the same time. All the while the men know there’s not a chance in hell they’ll come out of the battle alive. But as Leonidas explains when they meet up with soldiers who want to join the cause, his men are soldiers through and through and know no other life than one of defending their Sparta.
There’s plenty of blood and body parts being chopped off and some of the best choreographed fight scenes on film, but it’s all stylized. Snyder’s use of stop-motion to capture specific moments during battle helps the film achieve a painting come to life tone. Yet for all the dismemberments and killings, there are a few passionate moments between Leonidas and Gorgo tossed in to balance it out (not to mention a smoking hot sex scene). In other words, there’s a little something for action film freaks as well as those more into drama and romance. And let’s be totally honest here. Just the sight of Butler and the talented cast of actors who make up the Spartan army (including David Wenham, Tom Wisdom, Vincent Regan, and Michael Fassbender) running around in ‘codpieces’ that barely conceal the family jewels and little else is reason enough for most women to want to check out the film.
Taking his cue directly from the pages of Miller’s graphic novel, Snyder has created a movie that works on many different levels. Mesmerizing and breathtaking, 300 is something you have to experience for yourself.
300 was directed by Zack Snyder and is rated R for graphic battle sequences throughout, some sexuality and nudity.