Movie Information

The Story:Spartan King Leonidas and his elite leather boys try to save their kingdom by heading off the huge Persian army at the entrance to their land. The Lowdown:It has an interesting look (for about 30 minutes) and a lot of sound and fury, but what it signifies -- other than racism, homophobia and the glorification of war -- is largely nothing.
Genre: Action Adventure
Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, Dominic West, David Wenham, Rodrigo Santoro
Rated: R

I believe there is some law that criminally stupid movies are required to contain at least one honest self-critiquing line of dialogue. For example, there’s the not unreasonable assessment, “This sucks on so many levels,” in Jason X (2001), and those grim words of warning from Vin Diesel, “This isn’t over,” in A Man Apart (2002). To this we may now add, “This will not soon be over and you’re not going to enjoy it,” from 300. Amen to that.

I know full well that this view is apt to incur the wrath of the fanboys, who have done themselves proud on the Rotten Tomatoes Website by jumping on any critic who dares not drop to his or her knees over Snyder’s synthetic spectacle. Folks thereon—hiding behind screen names like “Knuckledragger48” and “ILiveinMom’sBasement69”—have been roused into a frenzy of name-calling the likes of which I haven’t seen since junior high school. I suppose my gender will prevent my receiving the full brunt of invective directed at the Associated Press’ Christy Lemire, who has been called a “bitch,” a “whore” and a variety of other names I can’t even suggest here. I’ll probably have to settle for other intellectual favorites like “tool,” “douchebag” and “faggot.” Well, you can’t have everything.

One of the more intriguing aspects of the arguments in favor of the film is that it “really happened.” Well, yes, more or less, that’s true enough, but I’m just a soupçon skeptical of the veracity of the seven-and-a-half-foot-tall fanged giant, mystical Asian warriors with masks hiding their wizened faces and pointy teeth, the lobster-clawed executioner or the goat-headed musician in Xerxes’ (Rodrigo Santoro, Love Actually) army. I don’t necessarily object to the inclusion of these Frank Miller fever-dream monstrosities, but don’t try to tell me they have any relation to the historical battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. In all honesty, I do object to their inclusion in the context of the film, because they exist—along with the deformed lesbians, transsexuals and nasty nancy-boy Persians—primarily to demonize the bad guys. Every time the movie trotted out another “horror,” all I could think of was the priest in Woody Allen’s Love and Death (1975) illustrating what Jews are with a series of pictures and being asked, “Amazing! Do they all have these horns?” Only to answer, “That’s the Russian Jew. The German Jew has these stripes.”

300 plays to racism and xenophobia in a manner that would warm the cockles of a Third Reich propagandist. This, however, is probably about what can be expected from a film that views a society that tosses underweight or deformed infants into a pit to die as one of the more shining examples of civilization. Even more repellent is how the film later “proves” the wisdom of this approach by having its butch hero King Leonidas (Gerard Butler, The Phantom of the Opera) and his boys betrayed by the deformed Spartan Ephialtes (Brit TV actor Andew Tiernan)—or it would be if you could keep from laughing at Ephialtes’ cheesy Quasimodo makeup).

Snyder continues to claim that his movie is nothing more than a thrill ride and that it has no political motivation (while his co-executive-producer wife, Deborah Snyder, dodges questions about their politics by claiming that such information is irrelevant). But let’s face it, the movie’s a right-wing recruiting screed. What else can one make of a movie that depicts a bunch of macho white guys going above the law to make the world safe from all those depraved brown-skinned Persians and their army of blacks and Asians? It’s just coincidental that any voice not crying out for war comes from doddering old fools or duplicitous politicians? It’s simple happenstance that Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey, The Cave) offers such bumper-stickerese as “Freedom isn’t free?” (Whether it costs a drachma and five cents a la Team America is not addressed.) It’s merely a happy accident that civilizations not entirely grounded in waging war (bear in mind that fighting is all the Spartans exist for) are sneered at as inferior, especially those “Athenian philosophers and boy-lovers.”

The film seethes with homophobia—presumably as a sop to nervous fanboys who need to justify their interest in watching two hours of beefed-up gym rats in leather briefs and little else. Not only does our manly hero espouse his manliness whenever possible (I suppose when you spend all your time in skimpy outfits with other similarly clad, oiled-up and shaved guys, this is essential), but there’s the evil metrosexualized Xerxes forever insisting that Leonidas should kneel before him (no comment). Then again, this is a movie that asks you to root for a guy who, by objective standards, is pretty much a psycho. This is a king whose idea of diplomacy is to kick a mere messenger from the opposing forces down a well for no very good reason, except that he’s just so “badass.”

Even if you can get past any moral reservations you might have about all this, it’s really not that much of a movie. Sure, it looks different from other movies, but so what? After the first half hour, the novelty of its burnished (and clearly CGI) look wears thin. How many times can spurts of cartoonish CGI blood slo-mo-ing through the air like jewels really be impressive? Big effects like the rampaging rhino and the elephant attack are so brief and undramatic that they might as well not be in the film. The dialogue is atrocious and the acting no better. Gerard Butler is a good actor, but here he’s only called open to point his Brillo pad beard at people and scream his silly lines. It doesn’t help that his attempts to bury his Scottish accent make him sound altogether like Sylvester the Cat doing a Marlon Brando impression.

But worst of all, it’s a phony spectacle. It’s less like watching a movie than it’s like watching a parade of production-design sketches flow across the screen. You want spectacle? Go watch an old Cecil B. DeMille picture. You want intelligent spectacle? Check out David Lean. You want this? You can have it. Rated R for graphic battle sequences throughout, some sexuality and nudity.

— reviewed by Ken Hanke

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

28 thoughts on “300

  1. Teleri

    Ah, The 300.
    Now, just to upset all those (Like YOU, Mr. Hanke) who’ve stereotyped all lovers of this film as ‘fanboys’, right-wing skinheads, or whatever, let me confound you.
    I’m a Goddess worshipper, an old hippie anti-war demonstrator, feminist and intellectual with some advanced degrees in liberal arts (literature and education). I work in one of those ‘bleeding heart’ jobs and am a card-carrying member of the Green Party and Green Peace.
    I also know my history.
    This movie does a gloss job on a real occurrence. Xerxes (not the nicest guy, people, even if he DID create a law code), threatened the Greeks (again, not the nicest people – rather misogynistic in fact). Sparta, a warrior state if ever there was one, didn’t want to waste time with negotiations. Her king Leonidas, with an oracle that basically said, either the king or Sparta would perish, went to battle with 300 of his finest. They had help – about 7000 in all. According to Herodotus, it was not until after the infamous goat path incident, when defeat loomed, that the 300 (oh, & 700 hoplites from Thetis) stayed knowing it meant death. Truth.
    All very heady stuff.
    Frank Miller, in classic graphic novel form, put all sorts of exotic filler in, but the basics remain pretty accurate. Big bad empire threatens small fierce country who refuses to bow down – well, analogies abound here. Most with, say, AMERICA as said empire….
    I really loved Queen Gorgo, of course. Strong women rule.
    Now, should we all, terrified of the PC Nazis, coil in terror at depicting ‘white’ heroes (Spartans) winning against ‘non-whites’ (Persians??? Since when….)? Are historically factual gibes (the Spartans called the Athenians names, and vice versa) to be deleted if someone might perhaps possibly be offended somewhere? Must we change history to placate everyone – must we include everything wrong with every ancient civilization in each and every historical drama about them?
    One person who hated this movie ranted about the fact that the Spartans, who went on and on about freedom, kept slaves. Yep. Ironic, true, pretty much irrelevant in this movie (the Persians certainly had slaves as well). Another screamed that the movie is total fiction because Xerxes didn’t have piercings. Oh, please. Someone else decried the visuals because the Greeks should have had breastplates. Well, as a woman can I just thank Mr. Miller & company for that oversight :D
    Trivia. The truth remains, that a small contingent of men fought an unwinnable battle against incredible odds, gaining time and giving an impetus for their countrymen to rally and push the invaders out.
    I salute the 300 and Leonidas. May their memory never dim.

  2. Art Vandaley

    well said Teleri. This film is about a people who had more important things to do in life besides writing cute film reviews…..for example: saving YOU from slavery. Sorry it want artsy enough for you Ken.

  3. This is a typical Hanke film review, commenting on everything except for the film itself. Some of us like to go to movies to, oh I don’t know, escape. But I guess those people are simpletons. Thank goodness for Ken Hanke to guide us cattle away from being entertained and towards discussing the deep political ramifications of the movie “Grandma’s Boy” over brandy snifters in a dark room somewhere.

  4. Art Vandaley

    Jay…i urinated myself upon reading your comment. I knew a guy in NYC who had “Troy Sucks” T-shirts made because he was so offended by the movie and its deviation from Homers works. Humble us soon oh sweet asteroid.

  5. Socio-political interpretations aside, I’d like to chime in and say that “300” was a grand action film, and deserved slightly better than the rating given. Sure, the acting was awful in places (seen “The Terminator”?), the dialogue was wretched (seen a Steven Segal movie?) and the characters had all the depth of a mud puddle (two words: Michael Bay) — but that’s what action films are! Was it a great film on all levels? Nope, and no one is claiming it is. Was it a “one star,” jingoistic drek-fest? Nope. It was just a muscleman movie with lots of awesome stabbing. Right wing? A small group of people with beards defy their government and their religion to make a suicidal stand against an invasion by a multi-ethnic, multinational, morally relaxed and vastly powerful army bent on controlling them through force. Maybe I’m wrong, but if “300” IS supposed to be a political metaphor, I don’t think Sparta is supposed to represent America.

  6. That’s the problem, I don’t think it is supposed to be a metaphor. Frank Miller, the guy who provided the source material for the film, based it on the actual story.

    Quit trying to make non political things political.

  7. Jeffrey Beaumont

    Wow, Hanke is an clueless fruitcake in rare form here. Right-wing recruitment propaganda? Fanboys? Christ man.

    Like it or not, Sparta was a violent place. Like it or not, the Greeks did fight the Persians, who were Middle Eastern people from modern Iran (and everywhere else in the region). This is history, not racism. Calling this movie jingoistic is the height of ignorance.

    The homophobia issue is perhaps valid. Homosexuality as we know it today does not seem to have existed in Ancient Greece. That being said, there was just as much hot male action in Sparta as in Athens. This should not be overlooked. But, I might add, every macho character is not automatically anti-gay, and the idea of easterners as sophisticated and effete and Greeks as rough and macho is an old convention (invented by the ancient Greeks) which belongs in the film.

    Hanke clearly was not reviewing this film, but lashing out at “fanboys” and all things violent and male, which apparently offends his very delicate sensibilities. The Xpress needs real movie reviewers.

  8. Jeffrey Beaumont

    I also commend Teleri for her comments here. History is important, and even a stylized gloss job helps to tell great stories like that of Thermopylae.
    Tell them in Sparta, passer-by, that here, obedient to their laws, we lie.

  9. I can shed light on the “boy loving Athenians” line. When 300 was originally published, Miller received severals bags of hate mail related to it and calling it a homophobic line. His response puts Leonidas in a favorable line, as he was talking about the Athenians disposition towards pedophilia (check your histories) and his distaste for it… whereas homosexuality among adults was accepted among the Spartans.

    Anyone who’s actually read the book will know that the Spartans spend a lot of their time only wearing capes. Of course, total accuracy would have required this movie to be rated NC-17 or higher!

    Some homophobia, Mr. Hanky (if you actually do read these).

  10. Jeffrey Beaumont

    Same-sex relations in Sparta had a younger guy-older guy dynamic that was sometimes possibly tied into their military training. Throughout the Greek world, homosexual behavior was expected to end once a man reached 30 or so, at which point he was expected to marry and have children (frequently described as a civic duty). Again, using modern conceptions and terminology to describe ancient homosexuality is difficult.

  11. Mike

    Sparta obviously doesn’t have an obesity problem so I find it hard to compare them to Americans.

  12. Ken Hanke

    America wouldn’t have one either if everyone got a CGI makeover before being seen. (Check out Ray Winstone’s supposed physique in BEOWULF.)

  13. Teleri

    Interesting to see which comment Mr. Hanke felt worthy of noticing.
    Humans don’t need others to list their foibles – they do it themselves so efficiently.

  14. Ken Hanke

    No, Teleri, I just never felt the other comments (especially the name-calling ones) merited a response. But you’re quite right about listing one’s own foibles — as when someone gets all excited and worshipful about people fighting for freedom who themselves owned slaves (and then claim that’s irrelevant).

  15. Murdoch

    It appears I’ll be the lonely soul supporting the review. Quite a shame, considering how late I am in joining the fray. But I guess the spirit’s what counts.
    I watched 300, and loathed every single minute of it except for the credits. I think what I disliked the most in it was its manichaeism ( a term meaning “seeing/portraying morality only in black and white”, a doctrine that curiously enough came from Persia, but I diverge… )
    The movie spends its whole two lengthy hours showing only the good side of the Spartans. Their heroism, their bravery, their their strength, their beauty, ad nauseum. The only ones not getting the treatment are the old men and the corrupt politician, but since they were being bribed by the persians, and thus on their side, I don’t consider this exactly breaking the rule.
    The Persians on the other hand, are only shown as ugly, robotic and weak excuses for human beings, thus justifying their mercyless slaughter. Not a single persian was ever shown with the slightest resemblance of humanity, let alone a personality.
    Now THIS is unrealistic. 300 greek warriors, all of them beautiful and with absolutely no body hair, fighting galantly for freedom and reason(?) and not showing any fear AT ALL? Or pity? Or throwing up from the stench of a pile of rotting dead? I have never been in a war, but I have a feeling something is missing…
    I don’t agree with the ENTIRE review,though. I think the movie and the Iraq war were just unhappy coincidences considering the comic was written much earlier and the movie is faithful to it, but I still applaud Hanke’s strength of character. Saying what the audience doesn’t want to hear is not easy, but sometimes it’s nescessary.
    Of course, that does not stop anyone from considering this movie as valid entertainment, and in this matter I can’t say a word. Entertainment is something personal and should be decided only by the entertained themselves. But let me just finish this comment with a prediction:
    Horace once said “I have raised a monument more durable than bronze”, which is true. He is remembered to this day. Well, let us just see how long will “300” last in general memory as a good movie. I doubt that after 300 weeks anyone will ever remember such a wretched movie existed, and thank goodness for that.

  16. Teleri

    Not to be repetitious but most of what so many reviewers (and you) find objectionable about this movie actually comes from HISTORY. The Greeks, as someone pointed out, did think the Persians were effeminate weaklings. Spartans, who didn’t go in for man/boy love but rather adolescent flings with their peers during macho military training, SAID things like Leonidas said about the Athenians. Fact.
    This is an action movie, not a deep message film. Steve Shanafelt said it best. And to demand that every historical creative work MUST show all the pimples or be worthless is just inane. Sorry, Mr. Hanke – doesn’t compute.
    Oh, & lots of those Persians were VERY nice to look at….
    In fact, I’m all about action films with THIS kind of eye candy :d

  17. [b]Teleri wrote: “Steve Shanafelt said it best.'[/b]

    You may be the first person in recorded history to have ever written those words. I may cry.

  18. Ken Hanke

    “And to demand that every historical creative work MUST show all the pimples or be worthless is just inane. Sorry, Mr. Hanke – doesn’t compute.”

    Sorry, I think it does compute. If it purports to present history, then it is worthless if it carefully omits the things that mightn’t sit well with its viewers. The dodge that “sure the Spartans kept slaves, but that’s irrelevant” take on a film that’s supposedly about freedom is ingenuous at best. Factually, these people weren’t fighting for any sort of ideal of freedom except their own.

    If it’s not a “deep movie” why try to tell me that it’s historically accurate, especially when it’s clearly fantasticated out of all resemblance to any known reality? (That, by the way, does not keep it from having its own message and agenda.) If it’s merely eye candy, why are its defenders so keen to tell me that the Spartans were “fighting for your freedom?” (Hardly that, I imagine, since I would likely have fallen prey to their olde world eugenics anyway — as, I suspect, would a number of its most enthusiastic armchair warriors, come to that.)

    I stand by my review. I think this is a dreaful movie on every level and one of the most repulsive I’ve ever encountered. Others are certainly at liberty to disagree.

  19. Teleri

    I am responding to YOUR (Mr. Hanke) insistance that its NOT historically accurate. It is as far as basic events are concerned. Also I don’t think (as a literary critic myself) that one is EVER justified in dissing a work of art because the fans say stupid things. If that held true, I’d hate Wagner.
    Sorry you didn’t like the movie. I don’t challenge your right to dislike anything. I do challenge the validity of critical writing that gets FACTS wrong.

  20. Ken Hanke

    My insistence (not “insistance”) that the film is not historically accurate is hardly wrong. I said:

    “One of the more intriguing aspects of the arguments in favor of the film is that it ‘really happened.’ Well, yes, more or less, that’s true enough, but I’m just a soupçon skeptical of the veracity of the seven-and-a-half-foot-tall fanged giant, mystical Asian warriors with masks hiding their wizened faces and pointy teeth, the lobster-clawed executioner or the goat-headed musician in Xerxes’ (Rodrigo Santoro, Love Actually) army. I don’t necessarily object to the inclusion of these Frank Miller fever-dream monstrosities, but don’t try to tell me they have any relation to the historical battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C.”

    These are facts that are NOT wrong. Or are you telling me that these creatures actually existed? More to the point, you’ll note that I actually said that the basics of the story are “more or less” true.

    I am not dissing the “work of art” because the fans say stupid things, but because of the film itself, which I find to be repellent and vile without any help. Did I remark on the fan response? Sure I did. Why not? Art doesn’t exist in a vacuum, so remarking on how it’s being received and read doesn’t strike me as improper. In your literary criticism, do you never take issue with the response to a book, or comment on a review with which you disagree?

  21. Kendo_Bunny

    As an English teacher, I adore this movie. Sure, it’s not great acting and it’s only based loosely in history- it’s less accurate than even ‘Braveheart’. The reason I love this movie is because this is the way the story would have been told.

    Sure, it completely ignored the Greek slaves forced to fight, the major contributions of the Thespians and the Thebans, and the fact that there were several thousand Greeks not including the three hundred Spartans. As a representation of the classical Greek epic, it’s perfect. The enemies aren’t just bad- they’re monsters on the level of Scylla, the Nemean Lion, Geryon, or Medusa. The non-Spartans don’t really count. The numbers are racked up. Their king doesn’t just deny temptation, he spits in temptation’s face and then farts in it’s general direction. Just look at any Greek epic- it’s no wonder that Keat’s immortal poem begins with ‘Beauty is truth, truth- beauty’. They wouldn’t tell the truth, they’d tell outright lies that made them sound bigger, stronger, and grander in the faces of much scarier opponents. Odysseus may have really lived, but did he ever save his crew from being transformed into barnyard animals? Beowulf may have been based on a real warrior, but did he really slaughter a vicious monster and then go kill it’s nastier mother? Truth stretched to the breaking point and black and white morality are the hallmarks of epic poetry, and I think 300 captures that brilliantly.

  22. Ken Hanke

    Thank you for an interesting post — and an interesting way of looking at the film in question. It’s certainly a way I’d never approached it, and I see the validity in it. It doesn’t make me like the film any better — I still find it a combination of boring and offensive — but I can see the sense in this reading. (And the Holy Grail reference gets you extra points.)

  23. Mummer

    I wish I had been able to give my input here before, and it feels somewhat pointless to do so at this point, but I just can’t let some of this stuff go. I watched this movie not as a film expert, and not as a history professor. I, however, have a CASUAL knowledge of history, but even that small amount made it clear this movie wasn’t just adding some flourishes or artistic additions to make the events more exciting or exotic, it’s fundamentally a spectacular oversimplification of the events in the question, to the point of being terribly misleading.

    I’ll just go through a couple major points, but it was the Athenians, who we at least INFER from the movie are in some way inferior to the ever-vigilant and freedom loving Spartans, of all the cities of European Greece who were the first to stand up to the Persian Empire. (We won’t even get into Sparta’s own attempts to preempt the rise of democracy in Athens.) The Athenians, in a shortsighted display of ideological fervor, provided material support for a rebellion among the Greek cities in Persian-controlled Ionia. Naturally, the Persians weren’t too keen on this, and ultimately ended up invading Greece. In this invasion, many years before the events in 300, Athens stood virtually alone, and drove back the Persians at Marathon.

    The person who ultimately betrayed the mountain path and doomed Leonidas is unknown to history, and the graphic novel’s choice to endorse a specific theory about that, and the choice of a physically “inferior” Spartan at that, also speak volumes. From this we can only infer two things. One, this story is actively supportive of Sparta’s own horrific and unnecessary civic virtues. Or, this story is presenting a fairy tail vaguely based on actual events. Either way, all defensive claims of “THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED!” are invalid. This movie isn’t presenting history. It’s presenting fiction with somewhat historical dressings, or it’s presenting a subjective narrative of what some people wish happened.

    Personally, I can see this story as nothing more than a romanticizing of the most extreme and disagreeable of ancient Greek cities. It’s simultaneously a bizarre anthem for some kind of contemporary hyper-masculine fantasy that absolutely baffles me. It’s fitting, I think, that Sparta, just a century after the events of “300,” would be brought low by the city of Thebes, with a crucial role played by Thebes’ elite band of 300 homosexual warriors.

    This was all a bit lengthy… I guess my point to anybody reading is, go ahead and enjoy this movie if you must. But please, whatever you do, don’t finish it thinking you’ve just seen some approximation of actual history.

  24. Mummer

    Oh, and as to the point that this is how the Greeks, themselves, viewed their world, I would reference Aeschylus’s “The Persians,” written just TEN years after Thermopylae. Not only does it not portray the Persians as monsters, its protagonists ARE Persians, and it’s surprisingly sympathetic to them, to boot.

    Keep in mind Aeschylus lived through the Persian invasion, and lived through the burning and looting of his home of Athens by the Persians. Yet, he chooses not to present the Persian defeat as a consequence of their barbarism or their effeminate nature, but rather the natural result of Xerxes’ hubris and pretensions; he was punished by the gods. The Greeks, then, have triumphed not because of their inherent superiority. They were doomed if it hadn’t been for the way in which Xerxes had flaunted his power and might, in the eyes of Aeschylus, at least.

    Epic poetry belongs to the murky days before the development historical writing. Just because it takes place when people were wearing sandals and togas doesn’t mean we should throw what we KNOW happened out the window in the name of entertainment. And I’m sorry, if somebody wanted to indulge in fantasy and mythology, there are far more interesting aspects of Greek belief that could be plumbed than their racism and xenophobia.

  25. Kendo_Bunny

    In the eyes of Aeschylus, yes. In the general mythos surrounding the Spartan contribution to Thermopylae? Not really. Aeschylus was Athenian, not Spartan, so his cultural upbringing was radically different.

    I’m definitely not saying that ‘300’ is true beyond that 300 Spartan citizens fought at Thermopylae, all of them and their king died, and there was a big battle at Platea later on. As far as I could tell, those were the only true events in the film. But I do think the film and the comic book are relatable tools for showing what epic poetry would have been like. I can lecture on Odysseus and get blank stares and no understanding of why the hero was going up against a monster. If I bring up the awful monster with the tusks and say ‘Didn’t it make the Spartans look much fiercer that they weren’t killing men, but killing monsters?’, the light bulbs come on. And yes, there are many fascinating aspects of Greek culture, which is why we had an explosion of ‘Greek’ movies a few years ago. They were mostly awful, just like the classic run of ‘Greek’ movies. I don’t think filmmaker’s are ever going to make movies that actually reflected the truth, so why not enjoy the one correct aspect?

    Also, no matter whether you liked the movie or hated it, it was a cracking good adaptation of a graphic novel, visually, which the director will hopefully bring to his adaptation the superior graphic novel of ‘Watchmen’.

  26. Mummer

    I can definitely see where you’re coming from, and if people see a movie like “300” and are inspired to look deeper into Greek history, or classical literature, I really can’t complain.

  27. Ken Hanke

    I don’t think filmmaker’s are ever going to make movies that actually reflected the truth, so why not enjoy the one correct aspect?

    The problem with this is obvious to me — and has been demonstrated by some of the earlier posts on here — and that’s that the “one correct aspect” is being turned into a belief that the film is largely correct and that Sparta was a forward thinking place full of admirable guys who (somehow or other) fought for our freedom. Now, that raises the question of just how much responsibility the filmmaker should bear as concerns audience reaction. My problem personally stems from the nature of the implicit messages that seem to be in the film as much as any whitewash job it does on the Spartans.

    Also, no matter whether you liked the movie or hated it, it was a cracking good adaptation of a graphic novel, visually

    I would argue that point, since the drained color scheme and the whole manipulation in and out of slow-motion quickly wore thin for me, and the latter has been done death in post-Matrix film.

  28. James Casterbridge

    Mr Hanke,

    Thank you, I found this films homophobia, and xenophobia utterly gut wrenchingly contemptible.

    The “They fought for our Freedom” praise is undeserved, while Greece itself was not immune to slavery Sparta was the only Greek state to go so far as to conquer and enslave their fellow Greeks in Laconia. The Persians for all their empire building introduced the first constitution and bill of rights, the persecuted Jews eve went on to express their gratitude for their “freedom” to the Persians in the Bible.

    I would look forward to seeing a film based on fact. which both entertained and provoked thought. Both Persian civilization and the unique society of Sparta is worth more than this utterly banal drivel.

    An avid reader of your reviews from across the pond.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.