MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:57 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, Rodrigo Santoro
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Warner Bros.
Kiddie Movie: For the love of any God, leave them at home.
Date Movie: She might like the buff bodies, but hate the violence.
Gratuitous Sex: Both sex and nudity!
Gratuitous Violence: Some of the most gratuitous I have seen in a long time.
Action: Lots of battles.
Laughs: There’s some chuckles.
Memorable Scene: The opening scene with the baby sets up the entire story.
Memorable Quote: “Then we will fight in the shade!”
Directed By: Zack Snyder
Produced By: Mark Canton, Bernie Goldmann, Gianni Nunnari, Jeffrey Silver

Because of some scheduling issues while I was visiting my parents last weekend, I couldn’t see “300” at the new theater with the stadium seating and good sound. Instead I found myself at a different theater, complete with sticky floors, lousy sound, and you’re happy it’s pretty dark inside because you probably don’t want to see the condition of the squeaky seats you are sitting in. And as I was waiting for the film to start it was obvious the theater didn’t give a damn about letting those under 17 into the R-rated film as the mid-teenagers began to infiltrate. Sadly this left my movie-going experience a bit underwhelming, especially for such a grandiose film, but at least the youngins were behaved, just happy to see gratuitous violence, gratuitous sex, and gratuitous nudity, although from the “What the hell is that?” comments I don’t think they liked the new commercial for Dove Pro-Age, the one with the naked, older people, before the movie started. But enough movie-going experience, let’s get to “300.”

I’m not a history buff, nor do I remember if any of my world history teachers ever told us about the Battle of Thermopylae, but the movie “300” is supposedly loosely based on that battle, but more based on the Frank Miller’s graphic novel. It’s a little after 500 B.C. and Xerxes (Rodrigo Santora) is leading the Persian Army all over the place, creating a big ol’ empire, but then he runs into Greece. He sends his ambassador to Sparta, but King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) is having none of the “surrender” talk he is being offered. And why would he – Spartans are bred from birth to be the best warriors in the world. They are so dedicated to their warriorness that if you are a scrawny baby you end up tossed into a pit to die. But Leonidas is not scrawny, and neither are his best Spartans, and he gathers up 300 of them to take on the Persian Army at a place where the hundreds of thousands of Persians mean nothing when they have to travel through the Thermopylae pass.

After a sendoff every soldier should get by their wife on the way to battle, Leonidas is off with his 300 troops to fight the Persians, but his wife, Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) is left behind to keep things running in Sparta, and hoping to convince the Sparta council to send more troops to help her husband, even enlisting the help of the squirrelly Theron (Dominic West).

Back on the battlefield, Leonidas and his men are kicking such major ass that Xerxes meets with Leonidas, offering the King a butt-load of power in Xerxes’ empire, and yet again, Leonidas will have none of it, goes back to his men, and they continue to stab, decapitate, and pretty much destroy the best of Xerxes’ Army. Like the famed battle, though, there is a traitor in the Spartans midst, Xerxes finds a way to gain the advantage, and Leonidas finds himself dead (hey, I’m not giving anything away, it’s history dammit), but not before dispatching one of his men back to Sparta to tell the tale of the resolve of the 300, inspiring the rest of the Spartans and the rest of Greece to stand up to Xerxes and his army, and keep Greece from being taken over.

“300” is not for the kids, not for the squeamish, and not for those who are appalled at seeing nudity or sex on the screen. Yup, that’s right, Queen Gorgo knows how to send off her man into battle, there’s this naked Oracle Girl, and the violence is sometimes simple, but most of the time way over-the-top and in slow motion. Heads come off, arms come off, spears pierce right through torsos, but mixed with it are some great speeches of going to battle. The movie does have some slow moments, and seems longer than its hour and forty-five minute running time, but for the most part, if from the trailer, you think you might even be remotely interesting in the movie, you probably won’t be disappointed. It’s 4 stars out of 5 for “300,” and this is one I definitely recommend heading to the best theater you can, with the giant screen and great sound, or better yet, the IMAX experience is probably the ultimate way to see this film, because seeing it in a theater with sticky floors and questionable sound, well, I feel a little bit cheated.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!