Main cast: Gerard Butler (King Leonidas), Lena Headey (Queen Gorgo), Dominic West (Theron), David Wenham (Dilios), Vincent Regan (Captain), and Rodrigo Santoro (Xerxes)
Director: Zack Snyder
300 is a fictitious action-packed retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae, based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel which was inspired by the 1962 movie The 300 Spartans. Narrated by our fellow named Dilios, it revolves around how our Spartans, all looking nicely Aryan, take down the army of King Xerxes of Persia, who look like they are poster boys of pro-apartheid pogroms, only to get their plastic asses handed back to them in an ending that is supposed to be inspirational to all those macho and testosterone-laden lads in the audience.
I don’t know what to make of 300, to be honest. Storywise, it is a pretty standard “We are heroes! We are men! We kill people and we break things because we are men!” storyline complete with literal chest-thumping. But at the same time, we have the people behind the movie not trusting that the audience may not appreciate the human body in all its natural glory, so they stick the heads of the actors to computer-generated Ken doll bodies that are eerie in how uniformly similar they appear right down to the synchronous pectoral-bounce. Even as this movie shoves homophobic slurs down the audience’s throat along with its comparatively more subtle “dark-skinned folks are bad while fair-skinned folks are good” agenda, it also wants the presumably heterosexual white Arnold Schwarzeneggers in the audience to notice and appreciate the plastic taut male buttocks and hardened washboard stomachs.
A gratuitous love scene with Queen Gorgo, I’d presume, is necessary to wash away any residual guilt and confusion that these members of the chest-beating He-man audience may feel at any twinge of arousal caused by the sight of King Leonidas’s bare buttocks bared in all their synthetic made-by-Mattel glory. This movie is confused, I’d suspect. If it is a person, it will be a sexually confused skinhead who picks up gay men and beats them up after he’d those gay men service him in a back lane.
The movie doesn’t really get me going in any way, honestly. It is a standard boy-kills-boy story that I feel has been done much better by similarly-themed movies in the past. The creepy fake plastic bodies only add to the whole synthetic feel to the movie. I’ve seen better movies – and better real bared male bodies – and the stunningly brainless 300 just doesn’t do anything for me.