My review in today's Beacon Journal is here.
I went back and forth quite a bit while writing it, mostly because I was concerned that I was giving too much credit to a movie that was aimed at me, or at least aimed at me when I pretend I am about 30 years younger.
Like the graphic novel on which it is based, this is a movie for young men --violent, visual, occasionally sexual, an artistically rendered action movie. The bride had no interest in seeing it. Younger son -- almost 18 and an avid reader of graphic novels including "300" -- was pumped for this one.
As my writing deadline loomed, even though I was aware of some manipulation (and noted it in my review), I still was facing a movie I liked, and that did not have me checking my watch in impatience. One reviewer compared it negatively to "Apocalypto" (and wasn't too crazy about Mel Gibson's movie, either). In fact, "300" is a more thoughtful film, and one that goes somewhere emotionally. "Apocalypto" devolves into a long chase sequence, one in which the movement becomes numbing because there's not much else to it. "300" has plenty to say about issues, as well as about leadership; if we have to compare it to one of Mel's movies, it has greater kinship to "Braveheart." Which, by the way, I also admire.