After millions of Persian forces invade Ancient Greece in 5th Century BC, Spartan King Leonidas rustles up 300 of his finest soldiers to take them on. Based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller (who also penned Sin City), the Battle of Thermopylae is lushly brought to the big screen.
Leonidas was trained from a very young age to be a warrior. He is taught to be hard in body and mind, and to some degree, spirit. It’s those qualities that catapulted him into historical legend.
Flash forward to the beginning of the current chapter. A messenger from the Persian army is sent to Sparta to “persuade” Leonidas (Gerald Butler) to surrender his city-state to Xerxes, the as-yet unseen leader. Leonidas naturally refuses, and it?s on!
It’s off to the chamber of the ephors (officals of the city-state) to receive guidance and permission to begin the battle. The ephors aren’t very keen on the idea, and they, in turn, consult an oracle for the final decision. The oracle predicts defeat right away, and it’s assumed because that?s the letter of the law, the subject is closed.
Leonidas refuses to accept any of it, so he leaves behind his wife and child and rallies up the troops. With the exception of the Arcadians, no other city-states will join in, so it?s up to them! That’s right, while disturbingly outnumbered, 300 men valiantly went up against Xerxes? troops. Unbelievable!
However, it’s the underlying theme of the film that really grabs you. That’s Leonidas’ statement on how he simply wants himself and his fellow soldiers remembered because they chose to stand and fight for their freedom, against all of the odds.
Granted this movie wasn’t one huge epic like Gladiator, but it definitely held its own with spectacular battle scenes, and gorgeous cinematography. Yes, the storyline itself wasn’t completely historically accurate, nor was it meant it be, from various sources I consulted.
This movie definitely is not for the kids (plenty of unclothed flesh and racy sex scenes) or the squeamish (graphic battle scenes), but that shouldn?t deter many of you from partaking in this! Absolutely go and see this film!
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