Marks out of ten: 300
Ok, for a change I’m going to take a break from my usual love-it-or-loath-it style and give you a mixed review. I enjoyed this film, but it wasn’t as good as it could have been. It had everything I knew it would have but none of what I hoped it would have.
300 is a ball of solid testosterone marinated in adrenalin and wrapped in a loin cloth. It’s a style-fest, a gore-fest and a comic book on the screen. Every part of it looks beautiful: every beheading, impaling, stabbing, slicing, swing of a sword or hurling of a spear is crafted into a piece of art visible for one twenty-fourth of a second. Like its predecessor, Sin City, you could take any given frame from this film and hang it on your wall. Just don’t let any children or the faint of heart see it. There will be blood.
If that doesn’t sound appealing then you’re not going to like 300. There’s not much more to it than that. There are no characters to get behind unless you get caught up in Leonidas’s sub-Gladiator quality bellowings about honour and glory. The parts that aren’t directly about putting sharpened bits of metal in people seem to have been fairly dubbed the “bathroom breaks”.
But then, if you’re not all about hardened men’s men kicking ass so hard the Persians are still feeling it 2500 years later, then what are you watching this for? You won’t feel anything when any character dies. You won’t get dragged into caring about the people of Sparta. But you might just be so pumped full of adrenalin that you punch a hobo on your way out of the cinema. (Note: Don’t do that.)