We went to see 300 this weekend. In case you don’t know, it’s the movie version of Frank Miller’s comic of the same name. It’s (very) loosely based on the ancient Greek Battle of Thermopylae where 300 Spartans and 700 Thespians made a stand against the invading Persian army of Xerxes.

At the risk of going against the grain of pop culcha, I wasn’t as thrilled with this movie as I hoped I would be. And it really boils down to two things: plot and the annoying narrator.

Spoilers to follow!

Now, naturally, you’re not going to get a plot where the Spartans surprise you by not fighting to their deaths against overwhelming odds, but it’s not necessarily what happens in the overall scheme of things that makes a film exciting. It’s the little things.

I mean you don’t even have to read Miller’s comic to know exactly what’s going to happen in this movie.

  • Father and son both go into battle together. Is the son going to get it in front of the father, making him go berserk? Duh.
  • Deformed hunchback who knows the army’s only weakness gets rejected by the army. Is he going to go to the enemy side and betray the army? Duh.
  • King’s chief rival, who has the power to win votes for authorizing the rest of the army to join in the fight, left at home with the Queen. Is she going to sleep with him to save her husband? Duh. (OK, that one wasn’t quite so bad a story line in the end.)

Even if you’re doing a strict historical piece…and especially if you’re doing one that’s really not historical at all… you’ve got plenty of leeway to add exciting interpersonal stories and plot twists. This movie just didn’t even try.

But I’ve enjoyed predictable movies before. In fact, I’m one of the least able to predict plot lines ever. So, I could have let those things slide if it weren’t for the damned narrator! Holy hell, that was annoying!! What ever happened to “show, don’t tell”??

A narrator is fine to set up the background of the story, but this one was just too much. It seemed like every little thing that could have been left alone for me to see or feel from the actors was followed by some obvious piece of narration for no purpose. By the end of the movie, I was ready to tear out my hair.

So, while this was a gorgeous movie, and I think it had the potential to be a great one, for me it was disappointing.

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4 Responses to “300”

  1. domino says:

    This entry reminds me of the time in themid 80’s a bunch of us went to see some movie that turned out to be real bad. I can

  2. domino says:

    ^^ I love google. It was called “Nightmares”:


  3. Sherri says:

    You have a stronger stomach than I do, Sol. One hour in I was sitting in the lobby reading my emergency book.

    Of course, I have more hair than you do.

  4. *** Dave says:

    The only real question was whether the father would see the son get gacked, or the son the father.

    I will note that neither that, nor the “Oily politician tries to score with Queen Gorga” plot was in the actual graphic novel. Those were both the weakest elements of the movie, frankly.

    I liked the narrator, to be honest, just because (a) this is an era of oral history, so it’s evocative of the period, and (b) it gives an excuse for a bit of poetry to surround endless bloodletting.

    A movie for the Inner Klingon in all of us. Not great objectively, but very nicely crafted popcorn.

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