This is such a guys movie. Honestly I yelled out in joy at least 5 or 6 times at moments of extreme violence. This film is extremely violent and made for the Matrix generation, with many slow downs at moments of extreme violence. Sure the characters are not deeply developed, but you still like them and follow them. And I liked the digital look of the film overall, except I saw it digitally projected and it had horrendous color digital noise throughout, which did distract me a bit from the images which look so close to those drawn in the original graphic novel by Frank Miller. And this film does much more honor the letter of the comic book than the spirit of reality for this depiction of the battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C., since the Spartans are all here clad in codpieces, sandals, capes, swords and shields, and occasionally helmets (I have not seen so many six packs in a 2 hour period in my life). The film also has sex and nudity, so with the extreme violence, this is about all that the a film needs for you typical guy. And the completely digital environments work for this comic book adaption, and for the depictions of extreme violence.
The greek land of Sparta is let by King Leonidas (Gerald Butler) who was trained in the brutal ways of war since the time he was seven years old. His day is interupted when a messenger from the Persian God King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) arrives to tell them that they will be invaded and that they must submit or be destroyed. Leonidas takes the path of Sparta and kills the messenger, and gets ready to head to war, but first he must consult the Oracle (Kelly Craig), but the Ephor’s that keep her (Greg Kramer and Alex Ivanovici) have already been paid off by Xerxes so they say that it is inevitable that Sparta will fall, and Leonidas by Spartan law cannot take his army against the persian hordes.
REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS…
Leonidas consults and sleeps with his wife Gorgo (Lena Headey), who says he should do what a free man should do. So Leonidas does what he must to defend Sparta. He gets 300 volunteers, the best of Spartan warriors to follow him, including Captain (Vincent Regan) and his son, and Dilios (David Wenham) and they will go and fight the Persians at Thermopylae in a spot where they can defend a thin pass, and the vast numbers of Persians won’t have an advantage. Leonidas sets off with his men, all of whom have sons to carry on their lines.
Queen Gorgo stays behind to try and change the minds of the council, but she is blocked by Theron (Dominic West) who wishes to appease the Persians.
Leonidas is followed by a hunchback Ephialtes (Andrew Tiernan) whose parent’s were Spartan, but who left to save their son. He wants to join, but since he can’t fight in Spartan phalanx style Leonidas sends him off. Leonidas and his Spartans rebuild a wall to the water with the blood of Persians as mortar. This way the Persians will be forced to go through the narrow pass.
Leonidas fight valiantly, and defeat many persians, and he goes to meet with Xerxes, but does not submit to his will, so he and his men build a mountain of Persian bodies and Xerxes sends his supposedly invincible guards, but they are defeated, though the cost in Spartan lives is great.
Back in Sparta, Gorgo tries to bring Theron to her side, and he basically forces her to have sex with him. And at the council meeting, he then says she tried to seduce him. She is outraged, and grabs a sword and kills him (YEAH!!!) and spills his gold sack which is filled with Persian gold, he is proved a traitor.
Ephialtes has meanwhile turned traitor and given up a back route behind the Spartans. Leonidas learns of this and sends back Dilious who has lost an eye, to order the Spartan council to remember the death of these 300 spartans, and to tell the rest of Greece. Leonidas and his Spartans then die valiantly and even wounds Xerxes,
And Dilious’s tale of Leonidas’s bravery does not only rouse Sparta, but rouses the rest of greece, and Dilious leads 10,000 spartans and 30,000 greek soldiers to battle the persian whordes and save greece.
I didn’t know if these special effects could hold up the entire film, but they did. This is a very enjoyable film, and I will certainly get the HD DVD and watch it again. This is violence at it’s best. Sure their is too much man flesh, and Leonidas wheres too much eye makeup, but this is a comic book and done very well. Frank Miller should be proud.
Check this film out, if you are a guy at least.