Frank Miller. A name that is synonymous with some of the greatest comic stories ever written in recent history. And since comic books have a tendency to be turned into movies, it was only a matter of time before someone decided to turn one of Frank Miller’s comics into a movie. Today’s movie is the second of his works to be turned into a movie. I remember going to see this with a bunch of friends for my friend Chris’s birthday. That was a night to remember for a number of reasons, but one of them was definitely watching 300 in IMAX.
The plot: When a Persian envoy arrives in Sparta asking for earth and water as a sign of submission, King Leonidas’ response was to kicking the messenger into a well, as well as killing the rest of the envoy. King Leonidas then goes to consult the Ephors on his strategy for stopping the Persians but, after being bribed by the Persians, they say that Sparta will not wage war during the Carneia. Leonidas then decides to take 300 of his best soldiers, under the claim that they are his personal bodyguard, and heads off to fight the Persians. After being joined by a group of Arcadians, the Spartans first rebuild a wall along the coast in order to funnel the Persians into the Hot Gates, a narrow pass between the mountains and the seas. For two days, the Spartans managed to hold off the Persian army, but when Ephialtes, a disfigured Spartan, betrays Leonidas by informing the Persians of a hidden goat path that can be used to outflank the Spartan army, the Arcadians flee leaving a depleted Spartan force behind. On the third day, King Xerxes rides with his army to face the Spartans and orders Leonidas to surrender. Leonidas pretends to surrender but uses it as a feint in order to try and kill Xerxes but only succeeds in wounding Xerxes as the Persian army finishes off the Spartans with a barrage of arrows. After hearing of what happened at Hells Gate, the Spartan army, as well as a larger Greek army, is mobilized to defeat the Persian army.
300 is based on the actual events at The Battle Of Thermopylae, where a small force of Greeks, led by Leonidas of Sparta, held off the Persian army from marching into the rest of Greece. The critics were pretty mixed about this movie, only giving it a 60% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While many of them praised it visually, several critics were more critical about the plot and the physical appearance of the Spartans. The audiences didn’t care as it would wind up making over $456 million worldwide.
This was a live action comic book and it was fantastic. It honestly seemed like they took the pages from the comic and transformed them into a movie. I thought Gerard Butler was great as Leonidas and Lena Headey was fantastic as Queen Gorgo. I know a lot of critics criticized the violence in this movie but this was a comic book based movie. There is going to be over the top violence. I don’t know why they were shocked about it. Yes the movie was violent to the point ov being over the top, but so was the comic. It worked in the comic and it worked in the movie. The sets and backgrounds were amazing as were the effects and CGI. This was a great movie.
So if you like comic book movies and don’t mind the violence, then you should definitely watch this movie.
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5