8 years later Snyder's bloodbath graphic novel adaptation holds up extremely well. Yes, it's all style with little substance, but what style. Oft copied since it's extreme use of green screen and visceral violence is still jarring but often exhilarating and somewhat sensual. Performances are as much rendered as the effects......'this is sparta'....'tonight we dine in hell'...
Ancient history and bloody violence has always been a winning combination. "300" knows this, and it delivers without feeling the need to disguise its true intentions with some half-assed political or family drama at the center, which is one of the reasons I like it. Not to mention, its depiction of the Spartan lifestyle is a lot more accurate than you might think -- "Braveheart" this ain't.
I was entertained but mostly annoyed. I felt choked on testosterone instead of roused by it. The subplot invented for the film of the wife and the senate had not bearing whatsoever on the main story. Merely there to show us more Lena Headey and pad the running time. The slow motion action was fun but got tiresome.
This is why Zack Snyder has become the go to comic book movie guy. Coming off of the success of what Robert Rodriguez did with Sin City, Snyder delivers up another badass Frank Miller comic utilizing the brilliance of the green/blue screen and not being afraid of getting a little gritty. Also this is when Gerard Butler became a badass.
This movie is constantly on FX and I keep watching the same parts over and over, but not the ending. I sure hope those Spartans win! At first I thought it was gay porn. There is tons of man flesh and it's all gleaming and pretty. I would have thought there'd be more armor.
Despite Snyder's knack for creating nothing but remade or wrongfully adapted trash (and yet still be hailed as a "visionary"), this film stands alone in its entertainment value. The monochromatic aesthetics are irritating (and paved the way for many more VFX-heavy wastes of time) but the props, costumes, and unfiltered low-brow brutality of the story is as entertaining as any other sword and sandal flick.
Grand camp. A fabulous guilty pleasure that wears the extremity of its artifice like a badge of bloody, homoerotic honor. Baroque visual sensibility with many beautiful images, posed in time for no other reason than to bask in their assemblage. Indulgent, but fun...if you let it be.