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32 out of 57 people found the following review useful:

You've got to be joking!

4/10
Author: Alan Earnshaw from United Kingdom
29 March 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Or maybe I should sum-up this film by simply saying... What? I'm not going to tell you not to like this film, as everyone is entitled to their opinion, but these are the 2 main reasons as to why I was very disappointed.

1 - Almost no story whatsoever, all I knew by watching this film was that 1 small army was going to fight 1 huge army (or several armies), and I didn't care for any of them because of the lack of story.

2 - Next to no character development *SLIGHT SPOILER* just because you see a man has a wife and child at the beginning of the story, and that is all the screen time they have together *END SPOILER*, that does not make for a good character. So back to my point above, I did not care for any of the characters in the film.

I felt there was no beginning or end, the only decent part of the film was some of the action scenes in the middle - although many of the scenes were what I would call "stupid." Most has been done before, and a lot of the action seemed redundant. Pick 1 film from Lord of the Rings, Troy, Gladiator, Braveheart etc, and it would be very hard to pick out original action scenes in 300.

So basically, there's some decent fight/gore scenes in the middle of the film, but I felt the beginning and end were almost non-existent, and as already mentioned, there was next to no story or character development.

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43 out of 79 people found the following review useful:

Mystery Science Theater 3000 material baby.

5/10
Author: theopener80 from United States
19 March 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is further proof that a resurrection of MST3K is in definite need. Actually, I'd buy this movie if it had a MST3K commentary option. Really, it's that bad.

Warning: Possible spoilers.

First, let me say that I absolutely loved Frank Miller's Sin City. Robert Rodriguez definitely knows how to work with Frank's material.

Unfortunately, this director did not.

The technical aspects of the movie were simply amazing. However, that's pretty much the only reason to see this movie.

Plot: Spartans go to war. Four words, and yet I managed to describe every intricate plot detail and character development of the movie. This is not a good sign.

Also, when about 60% of your movie is narrated by a storyteller... it's almost always a sign of weak storytelling (with a few exceptions like Sin City, ironically). The narrator is constantly telling us what is going on, so the script either assumed it's audience have no more education than a third grader, are really high (a possibility with this movie), forgot that film is a visual medium (although this seems unlikely considering the beautiful shots), or simply had a poor script (I would go with the latter).

The score sounds like it was put together by Trent Reznor. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it doesn't work for this movie. A traditional orchestra score with a lot of drums could have worked better.

The costumes looked like they popped out of a gay leather bar, usually consisting of leather briefs and a red cape or a leather harness and leather briefs (seriously). While I'm the first to admit that they all looked quite pretty like that, it didn't exactly add to the drama of the story.

Finally, the kicker was the last ten minutes of the movie, which really destroyed the message of the film. Let's just say the last shot of the king ruined the message of the film entirely.

Several parts of the movie which are meant to be dramatic come across quite comical. (Possible Spoiler ahead) A hunchback follows the troops for part of the movie in shadow. The shots of him following looked so much like Gollum that you couldn't help laugh, and that's just for starters. I could go on forever describing how bad this movie truly was, but I have other things to do.

Suffice it to say, what a poor movie to adapt right after Frank Miller's "Sin City."

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

It grows on you

10/10
Author: ronnay_barkay from Ireland
22 November 2008

From the time he could stand, he was baptized in a fire of Combat...

From the time you start watching this movie you know you're in for a thrill. The storyline of isn't that complicated. Three hundred spartan soldiers go up against the might of the Persian empire. The dialog is simplistic and cool. Visually 300 is stunning. It will not only stand the test of time but it will get better with time. It is an instant classic and has all the ingredients a great movie needs.

Politics? Who cares? This is a movie that gets your adrenaline going. I know this sounds sexist but if you're a real man you'll love this movie. It has the "true" macho quality that few movies manage to achieve. There are lines from it that pop into your head in everyday life when you see or hear certain things. Like "The Matrix", it creeps into your mind and lives there. It touches on the basic, primal human values and emotions but there is absolutely no sentimentality here. As the line goes: "Theres no room for softness. Not in Sparta. Only the hard and strong may call themselves Spartans. Only the hard. Only the strong."

Go see this movie

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14 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

juvenile

5/10
Author: Steve b (gigabyte.me@gmail.com) from Ct
2 May 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The first thing I thought after watching this film was "man I sure would have liked the 300 a lot more if I was 18 years old".

A thought that pretty much sums up the core of the problems with the 300. The film was clearly written for a much younger audience.

The 300 while at times visually pleasing consistently lacked a certain depth in character development and dramatic air. Even the action sequences while being fast paced were glorified to the point of being cliché. Thus making an aspect of the film that had the greatest potential, fall short of mind blowing. 300 failed to deliver the emotional punch the trailer so boldly promised.

Also this film suffered from "Gladiator" envy. If you pay attention you'll see how desperately the 300 tries to imitate that movie. Especially in regards to the soundtrack. It's like they just sampled bits from the Gladiator score. While in some cases paying homage to a film in this way can yield satisfying results, in the 300 it only serves to embarrass the more observant spectator.

The mainly CGI environments, while a fairly juicy source of eye candy also lacked in their own way, emotion and depth. While beautiful to look at, the scenery was so obviously CGI it was hard not to notice and became a nuisance after a short while.This was even more apparent if you paid attention to the lighting on the actors. On more than one occasion it was very hard not to notice they were being lit by studio lights rather than the sunrise. Also, at certain times when the actors voices were booming you could hear the echo of a sound-stage rather than the echo off a cliff face. I'm sure also that having little to work with in the way of grand scenery and visceral stimuli hurt the actor's performances somewhat. How much emotion can one stir up staring at a fake rock and green screens every day of shooting?

This is not to say the 300 was entirely unsatisfying. It delivers enough thrills to merit at least seeing once. There are several somewhat memorable moments, including a grim but beautiful overhead shot of fallen Spartans that looks like an exquisite mosaic.

You won't walk away from 300 wiser but some of you, especially younger audiences will walk away from a noble yet somewhat sophomoric attempt at epic film making.

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15 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Piece of trash

1/10
Author: Ainoth from Germany
12 April 2007

Let's forget for a moment that the battle of Thermopylen has been used for centuries as a sign of European superiority over Asian "Barbarism".

Let's keep aside the fact that the story is presented as the story of a single man (king) with a mission to defy the Asian hordes ignores his own laws (enforced by bribed bureaucrats in form of priests) and goes to war for what he considers a greater good.

Let's concentrate on the way this pseudo-historical story is presented.

We have the noble Spartan warriors with their perfect abs, their beautiful women, we have the more human looking Arkadians, the allies of Sparta, then we have the corrupt priests, all grossly disfigured and the Persian army with their freaks and monsters.

This all resembles more fantasy movie than a historical one about ancient Greece. In a word, it's ridiculous.

You hardly see a "free man" (Spartan that is) die, they are cracking jokes while slaughtering their enemies.

This fiesta of violence is underlined by a macho sounding narrator repeating words like "freedom", "bravery" etc.

I'm certainly not opposed to violent movies, but this senseless display of violence probably for the purpose to dehumanize Asians appalls me.

If the message of this movie weren't so dangerous, I would call it a "Baywath of violence" with all its slow-motion scenes of cut off arms, legs and heads.

I have rarely seen such a huge piece of bullshit in a movie!

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27 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

A great idea wrought shamefully on the silver screen

3/10
Author: Isaac from United States
27 March 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I love epic style movies. I loved Gladiator, Clash of the Titans (as a kid) and any movie that makes history come alive. I love sports movies that have to do with comebacks, overcoming tough odds, and the like. I also have a thing for violence.

Those three factors alone made me think 300 would be one of my favorite movies. Little did I know it was possible to make an epic historical movie about fighting impossible odds with extreme violence that I would hate.

Well done, Warner Brothers.

I'll make this easy for people who want a list pros and cons, starting with the latter because it outnumbers its more optimistic forbear so heavily:

Cons:

1) The dialog is agonizingly juvenile and cliché. During a dramatic entering into the fray, the leader of the Spartans' reinforcements shouts "Lets show the Spartans what we can do!" Lines in perfect moments to drum up the drama of a scene fall flat like that over and over again until you're basically expecting it by halfway through. After the queen's impassioned speech to the senate, I found myself thinking "you've gotta be sh!^^ing me." It resonated with all the power of a fifth grader reading a George W. Bush speech off a blurry cue card. I understand that the five lines in the movie (the ones not stolen from an odd combination of recent movies and elementary school history assignments) were reported to have been spoken at the battle itself. If the entire rest of the movie weren't just as awkward and simplistic, they may have worked.

2) Points of the plot that didn't even require mention were either mentioned explicitly or repeated ad nausea. The narrator seemed very interested in reminding you that there were only 300 Spartans throughout the film. It was also made well known that the Spartans wouldn't surrender and would keep fighting, over and over again. It was as if the screenwriter were drunk and forgot he'd mentioned those points, and didn't bother to check the script before taking it to press.

3) Casting made some huge mistakes. Dilios, played by a then 40 year old David Wenham, had the faked voice of a grizzled chain smoker twice his age, seemingly to make him sound more imposing than he looked and to correspond with the narrator's voice after the fact. Considering that everybody else on the battlefield looked and sounded correct for the part, the fourth-billed actor in the film came off like Burgess Meredith with ripped abs. Needless to say, this was confusing and unnerving.

4) The sex scene when the king and queen say their intimate "goodbye, I may never see you again" should have lasted about ten seconds. Instead it was stretched to more than a minute of near pornographic detail, including the king lovingly banging his wife doggy style. I don't know what message that was trying to convey, but it was pretty out of place. For some viewers that may be seen as a plus, but my sexually adventurous girlfriend and I looked at each other and mouthed "WTF?"

5) Most of the fight scenes were so poorly explained beforehand that they seemed only to extend the runtime of the movie. I understand that there were supposedly three days of fighting, which corresponds with the alleged true story of the battle, but the plot glossed over this, instead just blindly flashing between scenes.

6) The "effects" were pathetic facsimiles of those from real movies. Every scene was filmed in a green screen sound stage. No scene had more than 20 real actors in it, when there appeared to be tens of thousands. Every "giant" in the movie was a CGI modified regular sized person. This was painfully obvious when the seemingly 8' tall King Xerxes puts his hand on Leonidus' shoulder and it just kind of floats there.

7) Plot elements were either rushed or non-existent. Without any real reason the Spartans are already going off to war within the first ten minutes of the movie. The deepest a character gets is the five seconds of doubt the king has before his freaky session with the queen, or when one character cries after his son gets decapitated. Everybody else is one dimensional. Come movie's end, a full two hour investment later you still don't give a damn about any of them.

8) The music throughout the film was at times either inappropriate or ripped straight out of a U.S. Army commercial.

There's too much else to criticize about the film so I'll mention the positives.

Pros: 1) Lots of random hot naked chicks.

2) The fighting itself was pretty cool, and they attempted to stylize this with rapidly changing camera speeds, which you may or may not like. (I didn't).

3) Some cool fake CGI mythical creatures.

4) Finally a hunchback gets a co-star nod in an action film.

5) Gerard Butler's King Leonidas is a decently strong character.

6) Abs galore.

I gave it a 3 out of 10 merely because it was "faithful to the book", which apparently should never have been adapted to film. I don't really understand the draw of mature adults reading comic books, which they've defensively re-dubbed "graphic novels", but I guess if you do, you might like this movie despite it being so poorly rendered. I liked the X-Men series a lot, and look forward to the fourth one, but this movie sucked.

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292 out of 578 people found the following review useful:

Standing ovation at the Berlinale Film Festival

10/10
Author: overburned from Germany
16 February 2007

I was one of the 1700 lucky viewers to get a ticket to the world premiere of 300. Zack Snyder has done a great job adapting the work of Frank Miller to the movie format! I've never experienced a screening that had to be interrupted because of spontaneous applause by the crowd! The special effects are quite good. The colors are hard to describe. Don't expect the b/w colored style as in Sin City. The colors are soft / Grey / well antique. As a viewer you have the impression of being in the middle of the battles. Well it's maybe not a truthful interpretation of the historical facts, and the same applies to the interpretation of Frank Millers novel. But the story worked for me. Lena Headey (as Queen Gorgo) was in my opinion the best actor/actress in this movie, she really fits 100%.

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794 out of 1582 people found the following review useful:

Stupendous movie making!! A masterpiece!!!

10/10
Author: resq446 from United States
12 February 2007

'300' is a totally riveting masterpiece of film making. Zack Snyder, inspired by the graphic novel, has brought a 2487 year-old news story to life with people you really care about who are faced with choices between compromise and war that are all too familiar today.

The breath-taking CGI images are flawlessly integrated with the live action. All the actors are excellent in their roles, and Butler IS Leonidas.

The sound design is excellent. The score was recorded by the London Phil with a full chorus and is beautiful to listen to, but is very reminiscent of 'Gladiator' which detracts from the otherwise total originality of the film.

This movie integrates the potentials of film-making and story-telling in a wonderful new way that is the best of both entertainment and artistic achievement.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

I wish I was one of the 300

1/10
Author: gascichx5 from United States
29 July 2009

I really do. I would have lived a long time ago, and not seen this waste of time and film.

I do NOT care that this isn't an historical film, that isn't what makes it bad - although I would love to see an historically accurate film made, but that's besides the point.

The CGI is terrible. It's horrible distracting, and honestly just looks, well, gross. It distracted me from the overall film and I couldn't take it seriously. Maybe that's my problem...nahhh, it's the film's.

Not only that, but the heavy metal music made me want to rip my ear drums out and stomp on them until they looked a spit out piece of gum frying on hot pavement. Look, I get it. I really do. But what I "get", turned out to be a horrible juxtaposition of metal music and Ancient Greeks and Persians fighting.

Those are my two biggest complaints.

The "acting" was decent, I wouldn't call it too much acting, but the writing was dire at best. This movie is completely overrated, but I see why it is. I just happen to not agree with it.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Just bunch of lies about the True History and Historical Characters...

1/10
Author: Amin Darvish from Germany
9 January 2009

Just put away some reviews that says: "See this movie as an entertainment , not as a political stuff". Tell me, how can somebody lie about history and the great persons in History and you just sit there and laugh and say: "Oh, what an entertaining stuff"? It is very annoying and offending. they spend so much money just to cover the lack of art and creativity in this movie and not just one of them looks good to the persons who saw "The Lord of the Rings Trilogy" or "Gladiator". we can't even compare them to 300. they were masterpieces. the funny thing about this movie is, no one can even understand or believe the movie or let say: when you are watching this movie, you can't put yourself in spartan's shoes and you don't give a damn what is going to happen to them in next scene of the movie!!! ant I think it is a disaster and I say one more time, it's annoying, all lies, all pretending, ... When you see "Life Of Brian" or "Temptation of Christ" and you feel good, then I can see 300 and do the same. Xerexes was the grandson of Syrus The Great and Darius The Glorious and you may know that Cyrus was the person who wrote and settled the first Laws for human kind and before that every one in the whole world lived like barbarians. The Original of this Masterpiece (Cyrus,s Law) now keeps in United Nation in NewYork as the sign of human development for everyone to see the greatness of Persian Empire and past Prestiege of this race.

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