Despite the fact that work has been crushing me the last week or so, I did find two hours this past weekend to finally, finally see 300. I'd enjoyed Sin City, a film also born in Frank Miller's brain, but had been worried that 300 wouldn't live up to its pedigree. But you know what? This flick about 300 Spartan soldiers battling a Persian army one million men strong was ab-tastic! Sure, it was cheesy and sure, it had nothing to do with any kind of historical reality but geez, who cares when there's muscular men frolicking against blue screens full of Dali-esque scenery? And I'm not one for the carnage unless it's aliens and stuff ('cause let's face it, aliens totally deserve it) but even I had to admit that the bloodshed was visually brilliant enough to make Quentin Tarantino cry with envy.
But back to that historical reality disconnect for a moment. Usually I get all spazzy about inaccuracies. I blame it on the fact that I exuded a huge amount of nerdy effort on classical studies in college which is the employable equivalent of trying to get a degree in puppeteering -- it's completely useless and the only thing that makes you feel like you got your outrageous tuition's worth is to nitpick historical inaccuracies in movies about Greeks and Romans. But surprisingly, this movie didn't make me crazy. For example, there's a scene when the main character King Leonides of Sparta kills a huge wolf that looks like a cross between a stegosaurus and Kate Moss. I'm pretty sure that's historically -- and zoologically -- impossible, but the movie was so narratively and visually individual, beautifully creating its own reality, that it didn't bother me at all. Like Sin City, 300 is simply a comic book come to life.
Usually in a DVD review, I would talk about acting and the script but there's really no need. Both were fine. On the other hand, though, this is a movie you could watch with the sound off and still be just as satisfied. And I don't mean that as a criticism. I mean it more as a statement of how powerful its visual elements are. Then again, if you watch it with the sound off, you'll miss Gerard Butler (King Leonidas) shouting, "Tonight we dine in HELL!!!!" which I feel is destined to become the new, "Kaaaaahhhhnnnn!!!!"
So there you have it: I give 300 eight husky Spartans out of ten.