Madness?... THIS IS SPARTA!!

Aug 25, 2007 (Updated Aug 26, 2007)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:The Special effects, cast, acting, directing, score, CG & Camera work are awesome!

Cons:A bit bloody for the squeamish.

The Bottom Line: I would recommend 300 to anyone just to see the special effects.

[Exchange of words after the Spartans rout the Persians in initial battle]
Xerxes: Yours is a fascinating tribe... defiant even in the face of annihilation. There is much our cultures could share.
King Leonidas: Perhaps you haven't noticed, but we've been sharing our culture with you all morning.

Directed by Zack Snyder
Gerard Butler as King Leonidas
Vincent Regan as Spartan Captain
Lena Headey as Spartan Queen Gorgo


300 2006

The Story

The 300 Spartans is based on the battle of Thermopylae between the Persian empire and Greece. Mainly Athens and 300 Spartan Hoplites against the entire Persian empire. The Persians were lead by Xerxes the Great who Persians believed to be a man god. The Greek City States were lead by King Leonidas of Sparta. Although a mere man, King Leonidas was a warrior in every sense of the word! Xerxes the Great was continuing a war with Greece that had been initiated by his father, Darius the Great.

The Persian forces numbered in the hundreds of thousands while the Greeks brought a force of 300 Spartans, 700 Thespians and 6,000 various Greek allies. What are 300 Spartan Hoplites worth in a frontal assault which can not be flanked? First you have to understand what a Spartan Hoplite warrior is. From the time a Spartan male is born, he is trained. At the age of seven he is taken from his family and trained to be the most brutal and lethal warrior he can be. After thirteen years of agony and training only the best remain {consequently, the word agony originated from a Spartan military contests called Agon}. These warriors become the Spartan elite and pray for a beautiful death {to die in battle} and continue to train until a battle presents itself. The entire Spartan culture and society revolved around this militaristic state. Once the male completed the training of the Spartan elite he was a citizen.

King Leonidas is a good and just King. A good man, father and husband. But above these, he was a proud Spartan and a most deadly warrior. So when the Persian diplomat rides to the city of Sparta with the heads of slain kings hanging from the saddle of his steed. They demand Sparta to submit to Xerxes the Great, it didn’t go over to well. Neither Leonidas or Sparta were accustomed to submitting or threats.

Shortly after the Persian King Xerxes received his answer from Sparta he lead his forces towards Greece supported by a massive Persian naval fleet. Leonidas pleaded with the Spartan Senate and politicians as well as the religious oracles to send the Spartan Army to meet the massive Persian invasion force. He was denied by both the Senate and the religious sect. The only option King Leonitas had was to take his elite body guard of 300 Spartans and meet the enemy head on at the Hot-gates where numbers wouldn’t matter as much. Some Allies of the Spartans show up to fight for their freedom and Greece as well. King Leonidas and his 300 Spartans were given command of the forces and they engaged the hundreds of thousands of Persians including the elite Persian Immortals. In the end the Greeks were betrayed by several of their own. Corrupt clergymen and politicians and the infamous Ephialtes. The death of King Leonidas and his 300 Spartans was a rally cry across all of Greece. Shortly after King Xerxes defeated the 300 Spartans at the Hot-gates. Here Xerxes faced thirty thousand Greeks of which ten thousand were elite Spartan Hoplites. As you can imagine the Persians were spanked and sent back home with their man god.

Quotes From 300

Persian diplomat, A thousand nations of the Persian empire descend upon you. Our arrows will blot out the sun!
Stelios, Then we will fight in the shade.


King Leonidas, Immortals, we'll put their name to the test…



300 is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. I must admit that I tend to enjoy military and history movies. I also like cutting edge special effects, a good cast and a well directed film. Just so happens that all of the above and then some are included in the movie 300. The movie is based on comic book artist/writer Frank Millers 300. Frank Miller’s, Sin City was also used to create a recent successful film. The special effects in 300 are far and beyond anything I have ever seen. The battle scenes are in a league of their own. Not because it’s better than the opening battle scene of a film such as, Saving Private Ryan. It’s just shot and edited entirety different by three cameras at three different angles and then ran at three different speeds. Then the footage is combined with cutting edge computer generated art and graphics to make for battle scenes that are spectacular to say the least.

The cast and the acting was also outstanding. In particular Gerard Butler as King Leonidas. I had not seen many of the actors in this film. I noticed a couple from the film Troy but most of the main cast were unknowns to me. The acting by Gerard Butler is superb! Lena Headey also gives an outstanding performance. The entire cast seemed to fit the film and their parts very well. The story of the 300 Spartans last stand has been told many times and portrayed in several films but I assure you, nothing like this film has ever been done about the 300 Spartans. Zack Snyder clearly done his homework and researched as much as he could about the actual battle that took place approximately 2,527 years ago. Then he added the highlights from Frank Millers comic book, 300 where he could. There is also a sub plot about the crooked and corrupt. It seems corruption and crooked politicians have been around as long as Democracy. The score is also worth mentioning. The score was very well done and suited this film well. When all of these are combined with the CG {Computer Generated} special effects it makes for one hell of a movie! I would recommend 300 to anyone who enjoys films such as Troy and Gladiator . I also enjoyed the commentary feature on the DVD which is an option that can be turned on. Be warned 300 is one bloody movie about one bloody battle!

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Thanks for the read,
© 2007 Joe McMaster

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