Saturday, 11 July 2015

300 / 300: Rise of an Empire

This is SPARTA!

"300" follows the story of King Leonidas, from his childhood when he is brain washed and trained like the rest of his male kin to become fearless warriors and focuses more upon his command of three hundred Spartans defending a narrow pass against the uncountable armies of Xerxes, the incredibly tall and gifted with a poor sense of fashion. The plot has a narrator which is forgivable for me in how it is used here, and it also calls for a lot of violence, decapitation, awesome FX and combat routines and a tiny bit of sex.

They probably deserved some Maccers after training to look like that!

But what it has the most is: slow motion capture. Yep. That dude getting hit by a spear? Slow mo! This guy getting hacked to pieces? Slow mo. Sex Scene? Slow mo. Guys walking / traveling from point A to B: Slow mo. That last one irritated me a little as it's basically just filler. Also filler is the majority of Lena Headey's role here. She and the council bit could have been entirely cut or at least been tied in better to the one eyed guy who basically is the one who gets shit done in the end.

Also, while the fighting scenes really take more than a few liberties in that the Spartans hold a phalanx for... oh around 60 seconds in the entirety of the film and spend most of the battle out in glorious solo combat like Highland berserkers, Leonidas' decision to "not use" the hunchback doesn't make sense. Yes, he's no good in a phalanx but that's not exactly what you guys were doing anyway! Still I give this violent and bloody film three and a half swords out of five, and wouldn't mind watching it again.


The sequel "Rise of the Empire" again makes use of a narrator, not so well this time, and follows the Athenian champion Themistocles (who ironically doesn't have the charisma of Leonidas acting wise). It also acts as an origin story about the war and Xerxes himself, how he was a normal dude before jumping into a magical pool of godliness. Erm? Also, the "bad guys" look less hideous this time around, while the "good guys" are less buff (makes sense since they aren't Spartans) - which also smells a bit like saving some cash for the props and training department.

While most of the combat here focuses on ship to ship combat it is still a brutal and bloody affair. There's also less slow mo which is better for me as you can appreciate the fight choreography more. Alas some of that goes out the window with the feats of jumping, throwing, and magical sniper-archery involved but perhaps the worst plot part is the "we need to put a sex scene in". The scene itself is nice (hello Eva Green!) but just ... story wise, you'll see what I mean. Anywho, I give it two and a half out of five heat-seeking arrows and also wouldn't mind watching it again (though the first one would be preferred).

F*** you, physics.


  1. I saw this one in the cinema (for some reason, don't ask me why) back in the day. Decided it was so much not my cup of tea that I never saw the sequel.

    1. If you didn't like the first one then that was definitely a good call. :P

  2. I have real issues with the "history" that Miller used in his comic, so I've never seen the movies. I do love the imagery, however.

    1. I've never read the comic but there sure are a lot of artsy shots in both films. =)