300 (2006)

2007 #101
Zack Snyder | 112 mins | DVD | 15 / R

300Highly stylised (and praised) adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel about the battle of Thermopylae.

It’s very much a Man’s Film: long graphic battles, esteemed warrior values, mostly-naked women, heavy soundtrack… This doesn’t mean it’s without virtue: it looks stunning, and while the slow motion may be overused it creates some beautiful tableaus. There’s even room for characterisation among the soldiers; these arcs may be familiar, but for once the filmmakers seem aware of that and keep such scenes to an appropriate, deftly handled minimum.

The slight plot may be stretched a bit thin and the closing speech is sadly over-written, but 300 is nonetheless an enjoyable, and surprisingly pretty, minor epic.

4 out of 5

300 placed 9th on my list of The Ten Best Films I Saw For the First Time in 2007, which can be read in full here.

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