300 (2006)

300 (2006)

Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, Dominic West

King Leonidas of Sparta leads a force of 300 men to Thermopylae to delay the Persian advance into Greece.

Zack Snyder built on the positive response to his feature debut in the Dawn of the Dead remake to definitively establish the sort of style and tone you could expect from him as a director. It also got him somewhat pigeonholed doing comic book adaptations, but this is perhaps where his talents are best applied. Synder's good about making stylish action and striking visuals, but tends to fall short when it comes to substance. If you look to this movie to be anything more than an over-the-top live action comic book, you're making a mistake. For what it is, it's an entertaining if very silly movie with a gloriously boisterous lead performance by Gerard Butler as King Leonidas. I also want to credit Rodrigo Santoro as Xerxes, particularly for his "I am kind" monologue. The film has caught flak for its historical inaccuracies, its alleged racism and even the claim that it was made as part of a psyop to prepare the American public for war with Iran. It's all very dumb, as most controversies surrounding movies tend to be. As an amusing popcorn muncher, though, it's worth a watch.

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