Apr. 14th, 2009 | 07:54 am
Zack Synder , director of the film 300 which depicts the valiant last stand of 300 Spartans against the Persian hordes led by Xerxes at Thermopylae, has artfully and fantastically recreated the violence brutality and yet sheer beauty of Frank Millers graphic novel of the same name.
Set in the harsh society of Sparta in ancient Greece, where the weak are discarded at birth and the rest trained to be the ultimate warriors in service of Sparta. The story follows King Leonidas from a child, his coming of age and crowning and the decision he makes to go and fight Xerxes Persian hordes. Early on the film we see the boldness of this character played by Gerard Butler, who certainly looks the part with a full beard and rock hard abs. As Persian messengers come into city and tell Leonidas that he must submit to the will of the god king Xerxes. Leonidas draws his sword, the messenger reacts with ‘This is madness’ and Leonidas replies ‘This is Sparta!’ then slays them all.
Leonidas realises he must act and fight, but the Ephors (elders who the kings have to follow) forbid it. He takes 300 of his best soldiers to the ‘hot gates’ at Thermopylae using the terrain of Greece itself to funnel the massive Persian army into a small entrance. The battle scenes in this film are epic, the force of Persians hitting the Spartan shield wall is enough to knock you back. The film doesn’t shy away from gore either arms are sliced off , people are decapitated and blood splatters. The art style of the film remarkably depicts that shown in a graphic novel, in fact the film is almost page for page lifted out of this great book and Frank Millers style strongly evoked throughout in the flashes of colours adding an artistic edge to the film.
The film is just a pure hour and half of action from the start, much like Spartan society anything sensitive is held in and actions speak louder than words. In this context it is an incredibly enjoyable feast for the senses and I highly recommend it. For Sparta!