300 - A Reflection

It's time to sit back and reflect on the masterpiece that was 300.
Now that every fan boy and his brother has had a chance to see 300, whether in the theater, on DVD, or my personal favorite the HD DVD, it is time to reflect on this little gem. You just have to admire a film like this that comes out of nowhere and garners the kind of success that 300 did. There are so many reasons why I think this film resonated with viewers, ultimately leading to a word-of-mouth ripple effect.

First, everyone loves the underdog. I don’t care who you are, it is human nature to pull for the small guy up against insurmountable odds. Even if you had read the graphic novel or read up on the Battle of Thermopylae ahead of time, admit it; there was that small part of you that thought that the Spartans were going to somehow get through it and win. Second, the stylized nature of the film was obviously a huge plus. The dazzling trailers with contrasting reds and grays, slow-motion action, and intensity easily grabbed the average couch potato’s attention. Once in the theater, the entire movie was a fantastical visual spectacle. Finally, I think it was the inspirational speeches given by King Leonidas that rounded out the film. Gerard Butler, who was a relative unknown to some, absolutely owned that character like no one else could. After each and every speech or set of orders he gave, it made you, the viewer, inherently want to jump right into the screen and fight side-by-side with the guy because you were so pumped up.

Now, just to make this a balanced article, yes there were definitely some over-the-top moments in the film. You had a seven foot tall Xerxes, a hunch back, and that gnarly looking guy that cut Leonidas’ helmet. While these did add a bit of a fantastical element to the movie, people have to remember that this was a creative rendition based on an actual event. It was those very same fantastical events and characters that added to the enjoyment factor of the movie for the viewers.

So, put simply, 300 was a pleasant surprise for both graphic novel fans as well as non-graphic novel fans. What this now means is that the bar has been set very high for future Zack Snyder projects like “Watchmen”. If anyone can step up to the challenge, it’s Mr. Snyder.

So that’s it. Oh wait, I almost forgot: THIS IS SPARTA!!!! Sorry, had to get that off my chest :)

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Comic Book Movie