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Old March 30, 2007, 03:19 PM
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‘300’

The Good:

Good direction, brilliant special effects, lots of gory action, although it got a little repetitive. On the whole, 300 is visually very impressive, stylised and a great transition from a comic book. That's a reason enough to go watch it.


The Bad:

Where do I start? The story initially is inspiring, but it has no depth. I was expecting a historical epic and this far from it. It’s melodramatic, filled with unreal battle sequences, pompous chest-thumping dialogues and gung ho shouts of bravado by ultra-macho, noble Spartans warriors, the manliest of men, who would in reality be heavily armoured in battle but preferred to wear speedos instead.

Then there were Persians, the bad guys, hordes of evil, ugly enemies resembling Orcs and Trolls after a frenzied Saturday night. They fought, actually more like ‘ran into' the Spartans like a wave of mentally challenged midget zombies, with no tactics or formation. Rarely have I seen such a comical exaggeration of an evil army. Even Greek writings tell that Persians were a uniform and disciplined force.

Angry rhino, circus elephants, mutated giants, saws for hands? Why not bears with laser eyes?

Xerxes, portrayed as a camp, bald, oversized freak of nature wearing a bikini brief and a ton of piercing. It couldn’t get more ludicrous.

Historically Spartans were no freedom lovers. They were, quite ironically the first fascist state, had a repressive caste system, and notoriously degraded slaves, who were also forced into battle. Leonardis claimed it’s a stand against barbarism, so what part of killing weak newborn babies make Spartans more civilised?


The Ugly:

Granted ‘300’ is based off a comic book and both Frank Miller and director Zack Snyder admitted it is “purposefully” fiction, but there is a limit. ‘300’ doesn’t know what kind of movie it wants to be. It tries to fuse a historical event with action, drama, fantasy altogether in an overly inflated manner. Let me open the can of worms, there is also an underlying issue of plausible political and racial stroking. The portrayal of Persians in the movie could be perceived as a possibly deliberate insult or aggravation towards modern Iran.

As the magnanimous Spartan Queen quite eloquently puts ‘Freedom isn’t free’. Ringing any bells? I bet Mr. God-told-so and his rightist minions are creaming their pants by now. It is apparently “no secret” that Frank Miller supports right-wing politics. Is it a coincidence, given the political situation and timing of this film’s release? I’ll leave that up to you.

Is ‘300’ a masterpiece? No. It’s an over-hyped, but visually stunning, adrenaline-pumping “action” flick. Even then it doesn’t compare to the likes Lord of the Rings or Gladiator.

I am big fan of Frank Miller’s Sin City, but 300 has quite frankly (no pun intended) disappointed me.
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