This is Sparta!

“300” is a movie adaption of Frank Miller’s graphic novel about the Battle of Thermopylae where 300 Spartan warriors fought an army of Persians. I haven’t read the graphic novel but after looking through some of it, I can see that the director of the movie stayed true to Miller’s work. The movie was very graphical and isn’t meant for the weak. There were lots of blood and gory and body parts flying all over the screen. There was even a few porno scenes added in as well, if you’re into that stuff.

If you don’t know about the Persian-Greco war, watching this movie may give you the gist of it but don’t expect to know the whole story. Around 480 B.C., a group of 300 Spartan warriors went head-to-head with thousands of Persians. In the Battle of Thermopylae the Persians vastly out numbers the Greeks but the Greeks were able to hold off the Persian army for three days. Those three days were enough time for the Greeks to prepare a naval plan to defeat the Persians.

300

The movie starts off by giving a brief explanation of Spartans. It explained how Spartans babies are judged before they are able to do anything. If they show any signs of abnormalities, they are discarded. If they appear to be fit, they are allowed to live out their lives and become a Spartan warrior.

In the movie, a Persian messenger arrives at Sparta to inform King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) that Xerxes’ (Rodrigo Santoro) army is heading towards Sparta. If Sparta does not want to be conquered by the self-proclaimed God-King, they will give the messenger “earth and water” as a sign that they will not show resistance. King Leonidas refuses to give them what they want so he gets rid of the messenger. Spartans were trained never to give up and never surrender. Leonidas assembles 300 of his “personal body guards” and heads north to Hot Gates to meet with the massive Persian army.

I think this movie was great but then again, I don’t always go to watch a movie because of the plot. If I’m going to watch an action movie, I watch it for the action. I’ll worry about the plot later. As far as I knew, it was a group of 300 soldiers going to fight a war where their odds of winning was low. Because of those odds, I wanted to see how they’ll manage to defend themselves against a larger army.

The movie has some pretty good fight scene but it’s nothing if you’re into the Kung Fu stuff. They slow down the camera a bit so you can see the action more clearly. As soldiers are being stabbed, you see the spear go through them and blood gushing out. As a Spartan swing his sword to slice off an enemy’s leg, you see the leg go flying. Slowing things down was a good way to capture more of the details since the film was made low in contrast to set the mood.

There weren’t too many moods for the movie though. A few dramatic speeches to get the soldiers fired up for battle. One or two scene love scenes. And you can even find comic relief in the movie as well. There was a scene where the Spartans were finishing off the remainders of the Persian army and Leonidas was eating an apple. I didn’t care too much about it but my girlfriend pointed out the fact that he was eating an apple so she wondered where he had gotten it from. I didn’t know but I’m sure someone packed a lunch before leaving home.

And the actors that they used for the movie were ripped. You can see every muscle on their bodies. I saw that, in order to achieve that kind of body, they had to trained extensively for six months. None of that personal body trainer stuff where you’re standing in front of a mirror as your trainer calls you a sissy. No, I mean hardcore training.

Anyway, if you like Troy, Gladiator or Lord of the Ring, then 300 is definitely something you should check out. There’s enough action in the movie that it won’t disappoint you. It contains a lot of fight scenes, great actors and plenty of things to keep you entertained.