300 Film Review.
This adaptation of the story of the 300 Spartans at the battle of Thermopylae, based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley, would have Herodotus turning in his grave and Hitler rising from his.
It is violent enough to make you shudder and close enough to fascist art to make your skin crawl. It celebrates all the things the Fuehrer loved - the glorious, operatic spectacle of senseless death, the ruthless weeding out of the weak, the gross caricaturing of the enemy, the indoctrination of the young, even a mountain-climbing ordeal for the hero - and all as it purports to be a movie about freedom.
Welcome to the new double-speak: Sparta as a metaphor for America, courtesy of Warner Bros, in which the politics of eugenics is reborn amid one of the most sickeningly violent and mindless films of the new millennium. Adolf would have been pleased: he may have lost the war, but his ideas live on in mystical, military propaganda like this, aimed at spotty boys in need of heroes. God help us.
Of course, latent fascism isn't new in American military movie's. It's just that it's rarely as politically naive as it is in 300. That's me being charitable. It's just possible the filmmakers intended it to be as inflammatory as it is. These are strange times and 300 fits the mood of a part of the West that would like to see the Middle-Eastern barbarians bathed in their own blood. This is their kind of movie, complete with references to "barbarians" and "Asian hordes". Perhaps the Klan has become a new demographic for Hollywood.
Much of the blame goes to Miller, who wrote the original comic and takes a credit as executive producer on the movie. He is a cult figure in the world of American comics. He revitalized Batman in the Dark Knight series, and he wrote and drew Sin City, which was turned into a popular film by Robert Rodriguez. The indisputable graphic power of Miller's comic-book art is reproduced in the film with sepia monumentalism; his...