300, based on a graphic novel that's loosely based (VERY LOOSELY BASED) on the Battle of Thermopylae, had received rave reviews from critics and my friends alike when it was released in 2006. My opinion: it sucked! However, I'd be lying if I said it was "entertaining." The fight scenes, though unbelievable, were choreographed well and the use of "bullet-time" was utilized perfectly to create the right amount of tension and suspense before a kill or loss of limb. However, even looking past their abhorrent child labor laws (kids were taken from their mother and forced to fight large men as early as age 7); the fact that the Ephors are a spitting image of Emperor Palpatine with leprosy; and we didn't even get to see any girl-on-girl action until an hour and 15 minutes into the movie, it still had these glaring distractions that brought it crashing down to Suck-level...
What Country Were They From?
It was hard to pinpoint their location or even for which side King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) was fighting. I think it was "Sparta" but I can't be too sure since this was hardly mentioned in the movie. I mean, I hate to be nit-picky, but didn't Leonidas' Spartan accent seem a bit off? Obviously those two sentences are cocooned in sarcasm. "Sparta" and its variants are mentioned "a total of 72 times. This means the word Sparta is used at least .62 times per minute." Edit out the word "Sparta" from the entire movie and you would have the equivalent of a Lil' Wayne radio edit mix: Absolute silence. You could start a drinking game using non-alcoholic beer (~0.5% alcohol) and still be shit faced by the end of the movie. We get it: You're Spartans, from Sparta, fighting for the country of Sparta, using Spartan weapons, in honor of past Spartans, to bring victory back to Sparta, for the current Spartans who live in Sparta. Shit, I think I just wrote the script for the sequel right there.
Do Gods Really Look Like That?
Could anyone get over the fact that Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) looked and sounded like RuPaul in mid-drag with his eyebrows that had been completely plucked and re-drawn into black arches that would make Joan Crawford envious? I certainly couldn't. But beyond that, Xerxes was played by actor Rodrigo Santoro, the same guy who was UNIVERSALLY HATED when the producers of Lost tried to introduce him as a character named "Paulo" for season 3. A move that had fanboys from New York to Lucas Ranch and everywhere in between screaming and waving their spaghetti arms in disgust and anger at their decision. I'm a huge Lost fan and this is exactly how I felt also seeing him in this movie in all his drag queeny goodness.
I Like This Movie Better When It Was...
Lord of the Rings. All I could think about the entire time from the crazy-ass mythological creatures to the wide angle shots and zooms was, "Holy Shit! This is Lord of the Rings with an Instagram filter!" Even on Bluray, this made the entire film look extremely grainy, although I'm sure that's what the direct was going for. Furthermore, Ephialtes, the hunchback turned traitor after he wasn't allowed to fight with the Spartans, looked like a giant version of Gollum. Even the final rain shower of arrows at the end of the film reminded me too much of "Hero" starring Jet Li who died in the exact same manner as Leonidas (spoiler alert). Mathematically the movie would be: (LOTR + Gladiator) + (Spartacus on Starz - All the Penises from Spartacus) + (Instagram filters * 300) + Jet Li's Death Scene in "Hero" = 300