A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.


March 19, 2010


I really enjoy the work of Frank Miller.  His harsh square lines.  His fondness for big indomitable lugs.  As with any self respecting comic fan I fell in love with The Dark Knight while I was in high school.  I consider Daredevil: Born Again to be one of the greatest superhero stories I’ve ever read.  But I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t read 300 until after watching the movie in the theater. When I did read the book I was surprised that several images from the movie that struck me as quintessential Frank Miller were, in fact, not in the original book at all.  In particular the hulking executioner with blades for arms seemed very much like something Frank would have carved out of his fevered imagination.  That this creature was not Frank’s shows how well Zack (visionary director of the 300) Snyder channels Frank Miller in creating this movie.

This movie succeeds better than perhaps any other as a masterpiece of style over substance.  It is all flash, all insane over-the-top beauty.  It makes no pretensions to being anything besides a rousing action adventure.  Only not so much with the adventure.  It’s just pure unadulterated action.  There is a paper thin plot, a scaffold upon which hangs a single lengthy battle.

Zack Snyder is an artist here.  He provides us with a  carefully crafted succession of gruesome and thrilling images.  The camera flits through the battle like a dancer, pausing on the beat to deliver each gory tableau and then races ahead to get to the next.

In short: this is a visceral romp.  Turn off your brain and enjoy it.  I certainly did.  I enjoyed Gerard Butler channelling Brian Blessed as Leonides.  I enjoyed David Wenham’s dry narration.  And I mostly enjoyed the simple unthinking action of it all.

Oh, and one quick note: I saw some complaints about the ludicrous notion that the Spartans went into battle in nothing but capes and loincloths.  (As if there was anything else in the movie that made any more sense.)  Be glad that Zack Snyder took this one liberty.  Frank Miller depicted the Spartans going into battle completely naked – taking his inspiration from illustrations on Grecian amphorae.

March 19, 2010 - Posted by | daily reviews | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] it’s not in the book (there he just gets his throat slit.) It looks like a moment from 300 or Sin City – not like anything I’d expect from […]

    Pingback by Watchmen (Director’s Cut) « A and A's Movie A Day | April 23, 2010 | Reply

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