Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Review: 300

What a visual spectacle! Blood sprays in copious amounts but never distracts from the sheer dance-like beauty of the fight scenes, whether as a tableau or as a flowing artwork. The brilliance of bright colors would have ruined the faithfulness of the movie's look to that of the graphic novel on which it is based. Instead of using such hues, the film relies on stark imagery (less-than-human creatures among the Persians, an eerily towering and slinky Xerxes, the mesmerizing Oracle) to give the film its power. The score is adequately elevating, dramatic and roaring, as much a central device as the visual effects. In an adaptation like this where the technical aspects can be the central performance, the actors could be overacting at best, disastrously bad at worst. In 300, the actors have the necessary gravitas to not be swallowed by all the visual splendor and still emerge as the strong characters they are supposed to be. In particular, Gerard Butler as King Leonidas has just the right intensity to make his performance a true highlight of the movie. Successful in virtually every aspect, 300 will most likely stand the test of time as a truly masterful blend of technical prowess and substance. Grade: A

No comments: