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April 30, 2007 | by  | in Film |
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300

Q: What’s the point in having a bunch of male models running around in Greek warrior outfits, if they’re not even going to make out? A: So that they can make long-winded speeches about Freedom. Apparently. Although, just exactly which definition applies to a society as rigid as fifth-century Sparta is another tricky question altogether.

300 looked kind of cool; all reds and ocres with dashes of gold. It had a lot of nipples, and a girl dancing in a cloth made of smoke. It could have been a satisfyingly pretty soft-porn flick. Picture, if you will, chiseled and sprightly Grecian youths in black crotch-protectors and little else. Picture these youths springing into battle against the ravenous foes of the Dark Skinned, who assault Our Heroes with their opium, their piercings and their Dionysus-esque goat playing the sitar. Picture them wiping the blood off their buff bodies and embracing one another. After running their enemies through with their, ahem, ‘spears’.

But, nooo. While the only women in 300 – the Oracle and the Queen – seemed to have been thrown in the film purely to provide some heterosexual sex scenes (copulating with grossly disfigured men, a rapist politician and hot Leonidas), the men just stood around and made speeches. And killed shit, of course.

They killed shit fairly well. The battle scenes were well choreographed and the endless flow of speeches could be described as fitting in line with most epic poetry, which was kind of interesting. But it was never gripping nor did it provide the kind of ‘adrenaline rush’ that war flicks like to boast of in their advertising. As if their product was some kind of amphetamine.

Admittedly, the Spartan warriors did look pretty. As did the evil Xerxes, who was both camp and black (and thus obviously an amoral cretin). But if I have to sit through one more big-budget, swords-and-sandals-epic without some decent boy love, I will… Well, I will complain most loudly and repetitively. So there.

ZACK SNYDER

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Tristan Egarr edited in 2008. He threw a chair once.

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