300 is based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller, whose also created the graphic novel that was the basis for Sin City. While the green screen technique used here was also used in the other movie, it seems more obvious here. And yet, somehow, here it feels more like a style choice and not a drawback. Or at least not a big drawback. The story is so over the top that it feels right somehow that the images not look 100% realistic. And yet the story is based in fact. A small number of Spartan soldiers (the 300 men of the title) took on a much larger Persian army, at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C..

The battle is extremely bloody, but the not-quite-realistic look keeps it from being unbearable to watch. The performances are mostly over the top, but Gerard Butler is somehow inspiring as King Leonidas, and Lena Headey is both noble and, frankly, hot, as his wife Queen Gorgo. None of the performers were recognizable to me, and I think that worked here, not to mention that it presumably kept expenses down. But I expect we’ll see more from a few of them, based on the success of this film.

The bottom line is that I enjoyed the film and was glad I found the time to see it. I’ll give it 3 stars out of 4 stars.

Seen 4/19/2007.


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