Monday, March 12, 2007

300 (2007, Zack Snyder)

"Based on Frank Miller's graphic novel, "300" concerns the 480 B.C. Battle of Thermopylae, where the King of Sparta led his army against the advancing Persians; the battle is said to have inspired all of Greece to band together against the Persians, and helped usher in the world's first democracy."

I really do wish that I could have loved this film. I really,really,really do. I had been anticipating it since I first heard about it. I anticipated it even more when the amazing trailers started to pop out. When I saw the trailer I thought "There is no way this can suck" I know I am not the only one who thought this. A couple of hours have gone by since I walked out the theater and ever since then I have been trying to convince myself that I really liked it. I just can't do it. I feel kind of ashamed to say that it mostly sucked.

I was expecting a balls-to-the-wall-over-the-top-fun-fest. I wasn't asking for a masterpiece. Just a great fun film. I am sad to write that this film is over the top and kind of fun, to a certain point. The first 20 minutes already had me saying "oh god....please get better" There is a horrible voice over narration that basically just describes everything you are seeing. I thought this voice over would stop after we are caught up on what is happening. Nope, this voice over is heard through out the whole film.

The voice over is so annoying and horrible. An example would be this: A leader of an army has just seen his soldiers lose. He looks away in anger. The voice over then says "The blahblah was angered by his army losing" No shit Sherlock. I could tell by his horrible acting already.

The acting is over the top. It's expected,but this is just bad. Every actor is basically just screaming at each other. Butler's Scottish accent even manages to slip through a couple of times. The interaction between the "non spartan army actors" is stiff,forced, and very awkward. It also doesn't help that there is maybe about 15 minutes of characters actually interacting with each other. All of these times these conversations end up tying to be witty or funny. Watching Spartans talking witty talk just pulls you straight out of the film.

The fight scenes are also pretty crappy. For some odd reason EVERYTHING is this film happens in slow-mo. I guess Snyder thought that slow-mo action scenes are cool. Well, they are pretty cool but the impact gets old really quick. I was getting annoyed by every action scene after the first one. The overuse of slow-mo is just too much. Is there a purpose of having a person jump on a horse in slow-mo?

If all this was not enough, there are so many scenes are just odd and pointless. There is an oracle scene, in slow-mo, that might actually go down as the pointless scene in a film this year. There are a couple of these pointless scenes that once again only serve to pull the viewer right out of the film.

The only thing that 300 has going for it is it's visual style. The slow mo is annoying but it's still pretty to look at. Every single shot in this film is beautiful to look at and Snyder has a lot of fun with the digital style of filmmaking. The action scenes, although repetitive, are also fun to see just because of the style and creative use of gore.

300 just feels like a lot of half baked ideas that sound cool in little snippets but somehow end up lame. I'm guessing that's why the trailers looked so great. There is a lot potential in this film. If the film would had been done in a different way, maybe in a more serious tone, the film might have been one of the greatest epics ever. Instead of this we are treated to dumbed down action film that just looks really cool.

I wish I could have loved you 300, I really do. I also know that people will dig it. I can understand why but I just couldn't. There is just too many flaws going on in this film that it doesn't even become a "mindless fun film" It's just an annoying film, in so many ways.

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