Sunday, February 13, 2022


Movie Name:
Year of Release: 2006
Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, Dominic West, David Wenham, Vincent Regan, Michael Fassbender, Rodrigo Santoro, Tom Wisdom, Andrew Pleavin, Andrew Tiernan, Giovani Cimmino, Stephen McHattie, Greg Kramer, Alex Ivanovici, Kelly Craig, Eli Snyder, Tyler Neitzel, Tim Connolly
Genre: Action
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 5
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis and Review:
After making a first bold impression with his directorial debut, the remake of "Dawn of the Dead", writer/producer/director Zack Snyder, hopped on another adaptation of a graphic novel, hailing from Frank Miller & Lynn Varley, "300". At the time, Frank Miller's adaptations were coming off another successful run, particularly Robert Rodriguez & Frank Miller's co-directorial take on "Sin City". "300" focuses on the story of Leonidas, the King of the Greek city-state of Sparta, from his childhood, through adulthood and his leadership of an army of 300 men to stop an impending invasion from Persians. The impending battle starts precisely with a herald from the Persian nation, who demands submission from King Leonidas. When he refuses to do so, he seeks council and help to further substantiate a plan he has set up. However that help is denied, and as an alternative, Leonidas manages to gather three hundred of his best soldiers to put his plan in action. His plan includes funneling the Persian army into a narrow pass, between the rocks and the sea, allowing for the Greeks to have some superiority, since the Persians army numbers are far higher. As the waves of battles keep coming, the Greeks remain valiantly in place, until treachery occurs. While this is happening in the war front, Leonidas' partner, Queen Gorgo is trying to persuade the Spartan Council to send reinforcements, before all is lost.
"300" was a big commercial success and opened far more opportunities for Zack Snyder, which translated into his next feature, the flawed but nonetheless interesting, "Watchmen". "300" manages to be an entertaining endeavor, that somehow also demonstrates some of the issues that have plagued most of this director's films, namely, a stylistic and distinct approach that while interesting and virtuous, also minimizes the character development and storytelling that is needed to be anchored to the characters of the narrative. In this case, Leonidas alongside the supporting characters, are described in very broad strokes, essentially much like the graphic novel they hail from. He's a king who endured challenges, and managed to carve a path for himself by being strategic, brave and relentless. Not much more is provided in terms of his motivations, frictions, longings, as the film quickly shifts to the battle scenes. Visually the film contains some beautiful frames and shots, once again demonstrating Snyder's background in directing commercials, something that the editing also reinforces (at times there are some similarities to the style of the late Tony Scott). It's a film that has momentum, and a cast that is invested in the narrative being depicted, with Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, David Wenham, Michael Fassbender, Rodrigo Santoro and Vincent Regan, all trying their best to bring some grittiness, anguish and verisimilitude to the action taking place. The cinematography from Larry Fong is solid, as is the score from Tyler Bates and costumes from Michael Wilkinson. It's a film that has a distinct look and appreciation of its source material, but one that fails to make these characters more than just drawings. It's watchable, but ultimately not that memorable.