Based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller (Sin City), 300 loosely depicts the Battle of Thermopylae where Leonidas I (Gerard Butler) and three hundred Spartans took on Persian King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his massive army of one million soldiers. Zack Snyder, the director of the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead, creates visually orgasmic landscapes out of Frank Miller’s two page spreads. Every shot is not only perfectly framed, but the definition of cinematic elegance.
However, the lifeless dialogue and two dimensional characters borders on the edge of boring and annoying. It takes about 45 minutes before the first epic battle sequence breaks out, and the build to this sequence is exhausting.
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Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, Dominic West, David Wenham, Vincent Regan, Michael Fassbender, Tom Wisdom, and Andrew Pleavin
Running Time: 116 minutes
MPAA Rating: R for graphic battle sequences throughout, some sexuality and nudity
5 out of 10
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Last week we reported that 300 had a perfect 100% fresh rating over at Rotten Tomatoes, a website that tracks critical reaction. Amore critic reviews start to roll in, the film’s rating has fallen hard. At the time of this report, 300 is now deemed Rotten at 59% with 17 reviews. As Friday nears, it will be interesting to see if the film will gain or lose critical respect.
The film is currently tracking “huge”, and is on it’s way to an estimated $40 million opening weekend. Not too shabby for a $60 million green screen film. Sadly the film won’t come close to breaking any records, including the R-Rated opening weekend currently held by The Matrix Reloaded with $91.7 million. The movie will instead place around #10, beating such films as Air Force One, Red Dragon and Freddy vs. Jason.
Meanwhile, Dr. Hamed Vahdati Nasab has started a petition aliming the film is not historically correct, and it portrays the Persian Empire in a very poor light.
Zack Snyder’s 300 starring Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, Michael Fassbender, Vincent Regan and Dominic West hits theaters on March 9th 2007.