Movie Review: "300" (2006/2007)
The movie opens with the Warner Bros. Label and Legendary Pictures' Celtic Symbol in golden, earthy brown colors; a promise for visual splendor, which gets fulfilled by Director Zack Snyder with his second feature after "Dawn Of The Dead" remake (2004). The training shown in the opening sequence for each raising man-growing Spartan minor is brutal, captured in slow-motion shots of visceral camera angle work by cinematographer Larry Fong shot in throughout green-screen digitally extended sound stage settings; The story continues with an eight-year-old boy being expelled from the Spartan village frontiers in order to survive in the wild to the most accomplished major-striking scene, combining the whole orchestra of filmmaking instruments in a deep winter blue-to-black tinted dawn exterior, when 15-year-old Leonidas and future king to the Spartans, confronts his darkest fear in shape of starving giant wolf, trapped in a dead end mountain path.
The subconscious mythology on standing for an uniquely way of living creates immediate identification for the spectre, who can submit to constant story-driving picture, when adult king Leonidas, portrayed by fully-trained as motivated actor Gerard Butler, commands the forces of the title-given 300 men to the shores of ancient Greek to confront empiric army of self-declared Persian God King Xerxes, when the action accelerates in three major charges of metal blades into flesh driving, arrow splintering and shield sparking proportion, which amazes everyone, who is out for high end motion picture entertainment. The story based on a graphic novel by writer / illustrator Frank Miller, published in 1998, has been translated with researched knowledge and skill by Kurt Johnstad, Michael B. Gordon and Zack Synder to balanced exposure of a leader of his people, fighting for the love of his wife, Queen Gorgo, performed by Lena Headey, who shares a scene with Gerard Butler of an convincing relationship between a Queen and a King, who stand together even when the falling war upon them, separates them to the very end, which builds the spine toward transcending emotions with the audience.
The picture presents itself in an fully engaging character-focusing editorial, down to fair screen-time sharing supporting roles by Michael Fassbender as the King's closest collaborator Stelios and living-to-tell-the-tale character of Dilios, performed by David Wenham, who's voice-over inspires the suspenseful atmosphere of "300" to let the picture, even after 10 years of its initial release, ages into a contemporary motion picture classic that minor flaws in the continuity of an unless solely-owned image system, especially when it comes to the sub-story of Spartan village conspiracy dialogue scenes, where Director Zack Snyder & Cinematographer Larry Fong give in to plain Medium-Close-Up coverage instead of risking dutched angle push-ins that the even darker received, yet already based on the same digital extended production design approach, picture of "Sin City" (2005) directed by Robert Rodriguez finishes with an slight advantage in its delivering neo-noir visuals.
The sound design of "300" marks furthermore a technical achievement for any audience fortunate enough to witness the film in a theater exhibition, which then surprisingly shares moments of complete silence that the negotiation scene of Leonidas and Xerxes, performed by digitally magnified actor Rodrigo Santoro, infuses this movie with additionally tension points to a full release in an perfectly paced showdown scene to highest emotional results. Composer Tyler Bates provides then the final soundtrack-polishing oriental-instruments-infesting score for this motion picture, which strikes a nerve for any Fantasy-Action seeker that keeps on prevailing the test of time.
© 2017 Felix Alexander Dausend (Cinemajesty Entertainments LLC)