Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Released: 2006

Reviewed: 12.6.09
Star rating: 4 out of 5

Gerard Butler (Leonidas), Lena Headey (Gorgo), Dominic West (Theron), David Wenham (Dilios), Vincent Regan (Captain), Michael Fassbender (Stelios), Rodrigo Santoro (Xerxes), Giovana Cimmino (Pleistarchos).

Based on the apparently true Battle of Thermopylae in which the Greeks and Persians fought for about 4 days in 480 B.C. This adaptation takes an intimate look at the Spartan side of the battle and the 300 men who fought against the enormous Persian army.

I've seen this one several times now in varied venues; The full version on a big screen and TV sized and an edited for TV version and enjoy it every time. If you enjoy special effects, see this on the big screen for sure. If you like the drama, see the full version. And if you just want the action, see the edited version. The film, despite a fair amount of dramatic theme, moves along pretty well and does a wonderful job connecting the audience emotionally with the plot and characters. The plot is solid, nicely developed, and very direct without pulling punches or hesitating.

Camera work, sets and backgrounds were very well done with a good blend of CGI use for backgrounds, stills, and physical enhancement. Some people are turned off by the stop-motion blood spatters but after seeing this a few times they really do add to the emotional impact of the film. CGI was obvious in many scenes but still, nicely done. Costuming was wonderful, while dialogue and sound were also well done. The soundtrack was excellent.

Overall this is a very good film whether you are a gladiator film fan, action flick buff, or history fan. Put this toward the top of your Must See list. Graphic violence, battles, and plenty of blood. Some sexuality and nudity but this should be enjoyed by teens and above without issue.

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