Thursday, March 15th, 2007

300…a whole lotta meh


300 has been hyped up since the first images from the film hit the net about a year ago. It also cleared about $70 million in its first weekend, and it’s from Zack Snyder, who did a pretty credible remake of Dawn of the Dead (no easy task) and adapted the movie from the funnybook work of Frank Miller (of Dark Knight fame.)

So I was looking forward to seeing some Spartans take on the Persian hordes in a suitably bloody fashion when I finally got around to seeing the film this Monday. Unfortunately, though 300 looks spectacular and isn’t without neat moments, in total it’s pretty mediocre.

For a start, the Spartans are flat out dull. They don’t do much besides fight and shout and then fight some more, all the while mentioning how bad-ass they are, or alternatively flexing their abs. The Persians, by contrast, have a surfeit of cool costumes, masks, creatures and weaponry that they lob at the Spartans, as well as a 7 foot tall drag queen for a god/king. It’s like the toughest mofos ever to march in a Pride parade took on a bunch of hillbillies, and we’re supposed to root for the hillbillies. Frankly, I wanted the Persians to whup the Spartans but good, if only to stop all the damned shouting.

But the bigger crime of the film is that for all the posturing and cool visuals and killy-killy…it’s sort of dull. I can appreciate the technical accomplishment of translating a pile of blue-screen footage into a reasonable facsimile of Mller’s graphic novel, but that didn’t make it any more interesting to watch.

Warren Frey is a journalist, freelance writer, podcaster, video producer, and all-around media consultant currently based in Vancouver, Canada. His written work has appeared in such publications as Metro Vancouver, the Westender, Mac | Life and the Japan Times.

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