Man oh man, do I love me some 300. The movie that launched a thousand memes also happens to have granted many a young man an education in ancient Greek history – a vague and perhaps factually flawed education, but an education nonetheless.
It’s a tale as old as time; 300 hard-balling Spartans facing off against insurmountable odds. They fight for honor, their country and of course, for the sheer hell of it. And who’s to blame them? What kind self-respecting man wouldn’t feel the natural urge to do battle with ninjas, rhinocerii, bomb-lobbing Chinese wizards, and a big-ass ogre-type thing?
If it’s substance you’re looking for – a certain cleverness to the writing that throws well-thought twist after twist at you, then I’m afraid that you’ll have to go watch something else. 300 was not meant for you panty-waist academic types, and it’s better off without you guys, anyway. If you like your Spartans hard, your phalanxes robust and your men shirtless, then look no further than –
Oh good God, what’s happening to me? I just can’t help it…
The-solid, airbrushed muscles adorned by flowing red capes, the ascetic lifestyle and sardonic wit, the need to dedicate one’s life to battle and die a warrior’s death, it’s enough to make a man switch playing fields… You know, from journalist to Spartan. Yes.
I mean, as far as films that try to capture the essence of the warrior spirit go, you can’t hit the nail on the head any better than 300 did. It might lack a certain depth, but things are meant to unfold as a simplified Greek tragedy. It substitutes complexity for style, and in that respect, it works fantastically. Zack Snyder has the remarkable ability to make every shot look like a painting, and it lends itself very well to the romanticized idea of battle. Though shooting a film entirely in CGI can leave things looking sterile and pull you out of the experience – cough, Star Wars prequels cough. But 300 uses it like it was meant to be used – to dramatize a setting and add more umph to your story.
It’s a movie that makes you want to pierce the heavens and drive on the wrong side of the road. You could say that it touches the more visceral side that we all try to subdue in this fancy-schmancy capitalist society. As men, we’ve become emasculated, and we pretty much live for the sole sake of getting laid. Thank Ares, God of War, that we’ve been bestowed an atavistic gem that can awaken the primal that lurks inside us all. Now is the dawn of a new age, people. Grab a copy of 300, take off your shirt, do a few pushups, kill something with a spear, and get ready for 117 minutes of manly man-action.
And good ‘ol King Hazard had the pick that’s EVERYONE’S favorite, bastard!