In the Battle of Thermopylae of 480 BC an alliance of Greek city-states fought the invading Persian army in the mountain pass of Thermopylae. Vastly outnumbered, the Greeks held back the enemy in one of the most famous last stands of history. Persian King Xerxes lead a Army of well over 100,000 (Persian king Xerxes before war has about 170,000 army) men to Greece and was confronted by 300 Spartans, and several hundred Arcadians. Xerxes waited for 10 days for King Leonidas to surrender or withdraw left with no options he moved. The battle lasted for about 3 days and after which all 300 Spartans were killed. The Spartan defeat was not the one expected, as a local shepherd, named Ephialtes, defected to the Persians and informed Xerxes of a separate path through Thermopylae, which the Persians could use to outflank the Greeks. Written by
The movie never claims to be historically correct, something which is addressed at length in the documentary The 300: Fact or Fiction? (2007) on the 2-Disc Special Edition DVD. The movie is based heavily on Frank Miller's 1998 comic book mini-series, also entitled "300". In the documentary Miller openly admits that he made many radical changes to the history and director Zack Snyder admits to making further changes. Snyder states that he was more concerned with making a film which would appeal to a wider audience, and creating an exciting and visually stunning action movie rather than a typical historical epic. Indeed, he further points out that the film is a subjective narration by Dillios (David Wenham) in an effort to spur his men, and as such, the narrative cannot be trusted as historically accurate or wholly objective. Snyder acknowledges that Dillios is not a man to allow truth get in the way of a good story, and that the point of the depiction is that it is specifically the Spartan perspective of the battle. In particular, Snyder cites the depiction of the Immortals. The Immortals were a real battalion, but they weren't demons, they were just ordinary men. However, in Dillios' narration, it is much more dramatic and heroic if the 300 fought off the attack of 10,000 demons rather than 10,000 men. As both Miller and Snyder argue, the film is not a realist piece. See more »
Dialog contains many apparent anachronisms such as "Hell" and "August," but we are hearing a "translation" of what they "really" said. See more »
When the boy was born, like all Spartans, he was inspected.
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The opening Warner Bros., Legendary Pictures and Virtual Studios logos are made of stone and appear in front of a brown, cloudy sky. See more »
It seems that everyone who hated this movie must have written a review, so I thought I'd throw in my two cents to even things up a bit. First, if you assume every movie is made simply to uppercut some sort of ideology into the audience's chest, then yes, it does seem very racist, xenophobic, and the like. However, this film is based on a freakin' comic book! The Spartans were some of the most skilled, nastiest, nationalistic fighters out there, and certainly had reason to be more driven and nationalistic than Persia's, which was not an army of individuals fighting for their land and families. Should they have been portrayed differently simply to satisfy the current political climate? Are you mad? The cheesy one-liners are also evidence that this movie IS BASED ON A COMIC BOOK. The exaggerated characters is further evidence that this movie IS BASED ON A COMIC BOOK. This is not a historical movie, it is a movie which seeks to put a rockstar, no-holds-barred spin on a particular historical event. It isn't attempting to be accurate, or balanced, or anything of the sort, and it SHOULDN'T, because that isn't it's purpose. It shouldn't be obligated to do anything of the sort. It's ENTERTAINMENT. Nothing more. And it's damn good entertainment, in my opinion.
Every scene is beautifully crafted. I found the slowdown to be stylistic and much of the dialogue, which is apparently cheesy and fascist to everyone else, to be at least somewhat inspiring, and certainly engaging. These Spartans were trained their entire lives to be warriors, their entire culture is built around success in battle, and you don't expect them to be quite skilled, much more so than a slave army, and quite patriotic? Also, this movie was from the point of view of the Spartans. How would this army have appeared to the Spartans? Wouldn't their stories now be over-exaggerated, over-simplified, almost legendary? There isn't a great amount of character development because this movie is about a battle, ONE battle, THE battle for the continuance of the Western world, and yes, IF the Spartans had been simply overwhelmed from the start, and if their Athenian allies hadn't completely CRUSHED the much larger Persian navy at sea, the West simply could not have existed in any similar manner as it has. And yes, the Western world is guilty of arrogance, overextending it's boundaries to the point of imperialism, however, it has given our world a plethora of all-too-important philosophical ideals that are simply irreplaceable if we want to live in a free society.
I realize I spent a great deal of my time being critical of other reviews, so I would like to take the time to apologize for perhaps wasting the time of someone who was simply searching for a detailed point of view on the film. I can assure you that the film is action-packed. The scenes are absolutely beautiful, every one of them. The film is gory, but artistically gory, if that makes any sense. You'll know what I mean. The story is simple, direct, and inspiring. The acting is excellent. The movie, overall, was a tremendous experience. I give it a 9.
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