Friday, March 16, 2007

300 Is Made of All Things Awesome and Good

Not since Maximus stood side-by-side with Gladiators, fighting with strength and honor, has such epic and ancient goodness been brought to life on the big screen. There is no way around it, one battle cry that will dominate the movie industry this year; Sparta!

Based on Frank Miller's graphic novel "300", released in 1999, 300 tells of the epic Battle of Thermopylae, where King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and his men go out and monkeystomp the pride and will of all who would want to enslave Sparta. Only backed with his brave and well-trained brotherhood of 300 men, Leonidas would stand to defy the massive Persian army, numbering in the millions, lorded over by the mighty "god-king" himself, Xerxes.

In the face of such odds, could the bravery and willingness to die for law, freedom and country stand in the way of beasts, Immortal guards and a proclaimed god with seemingly infinite troops and wealth? That's the question the movie poetically delivers and answers for the audience.

Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) in and of himself is quite a character. If one ever finds himself on an archaeological dig, to find Xerxes all needed is a metal detector and time to poke about for a 9 foot tall coffin. Larger than life, Xerxes' vast power, jewelry and army was only outshone by his arrogance, pride and hubris. Such epic traits, common and varied throughout the characters in this movie, make them quite memorable. One was left wondering could one man, Leonidas, outnumbered by so many and being constantly bribed for a taste of immense power, overcome such odds?

The depictions of the characters in 300 have left some people with a sour taste in their mouths, crying foul over cultural generalizations. This movie is about one thing, though, and one thing only. Quality entertainment. Woven into that entertainment is a great tale about the nature of human emotions, the value of loyalty, the creation of enduring principles, but most of all, sheer theatrical awesomeness that could hardly be held in by a movie screen.

If and when you go to see this you should gird thy loins and prepare for glory. From the story relived on the glorious field of battle to the sub-story that focuses on the strong Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) challenging the rascally Spartan council, there is plenty for all to enjoy.

"300 is such an awesome film that it may very well rock your face off, much like a sweet guitar riff from Hendrix."

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