Sunday, 6 January 2008
2007 wasn’t just a year in which I read a lot of books, it was also the year that I meant to go and see lots of films at the cinema but never quite made it. You know how it is, there always seems to be something that needs doing instead or you just wake up in the morning and decide that you’d rather stay in bed… I never made it to ‘Stardust’ or ‘Thirty Days of Night’ and another that I completely missed was ‘300’. Still, that’s what DVDs and Christmas are for. Take one little brother that didn’t know what to get me, plus an inspired Christmas list from me, and ‘300’ can be crossed off the list of films to see. It was good as well…
If you’re a classical history fan or a fan of Frank Miller comic books then you’ll already know the story. For everyone else, ‘300’ re-tells the ancient battle of Thermopylae where three hundred Spartans (under King Leonidas) faced off against a Persian army of a far greater number. Honour, courage and the ‘Spartan Code’ are the order of the day here and because it’s adapted from the Frank Miller graphic novel you also get loads of cool effects that emphasise where the inspiration for the film actually came from.
At just over an hour and a half, ‘300’ is a great way to spend an afternoon of your holiday. There’s loads of action (great for someone like me), some amazingly choreographed sword fights and Gerard Butler’s Leonidas makes a compelling lead. The only problem I had was that once you got all the cool visuals out of the way there wasn’t an awful lot underneath. There’s a battle and some senators argue about whether to send reinforcements, that’s about it really. The plot is very linear and you just know how it will all end. This makes the film sound pretty ropey (and it should be) but I’ll still stand by what I said and say this film is a great way to spend an afternoon. Why? I found I was able to ignore the lack of story because the film just looked so good and this really helped me get into it and stay there. I’m useless with the terminology for this sort of thing but the CGI effects (I think this is what they’re called!) were superb and really went well with everything that I’ve already mentioned. I’m glad I didn’t fork out money to go and see ‘300’ but it’s definitely very good in a ‘leave your brain at the door’ kind of way. Ideal for a rainy Sunday afternoon!
Seven out of Ten