"It's basically a propaganda where Batman kicks al-Qaeda's ass" - creator of 300 comic Frank Miller, about his next Batman comic
300 is a good movie technically speaking, I just wanted to clear that beforehand.
That was my initial gut reaction as me and ExZombie, who seemed to like it, walked out of the Century Cinema, of course, it is partly due to the horrible abominations sold nearby as innocent hamburgers, but it was mostly because of Zack Snyder's big-screen abomination.
300 is the sort of film where you should walk in with your brain shut off and your eyes turned all the way up - revelling at the unforgiving bloody carnage like an al-Qaeda extremist as the first scene, which depicts how Spartans discovered natural selection by killing any weak babies around, gives you a hint at the comic-book mentality of what's coming up next, and it's a real guilty pleasure to caress your violence id as the visuals are a sight to behold, unfortunately you can't enjoy this wholeheartedly when every once in a while a phrase like 'ushering a new generation as we, protectors of freedom and democracy' against the 'darkness of mysticism and barabarism from the east' or 'let every brave warrior who came hither here, or in the NEXT CENTURIES, remember us, remember us, for what we stood for, and never underestimate the enemy...', and then there's the whole senate subplot....I did actually take the trouble to download the comic to see the differences, and the Senate bit exists nowhere - as King Leonidas prepares to go to war against the will of the gods, there is an intense political battle back home spearheaded by his loving wife against some sneaky dude called Theoden, so we get a fleeting passage of drama in which Nancy Pelosi....i'm sorry, Theoden, if you wanna look at it this way, accuses the Queen of being a traitor and not to reinforce the King Leoniads, in the end, the Queen can't stand it and simply whacks her trusty dagger in Pelosi's gut like somebody's wet dream, I kinda liked Clinton better, at least he jerked off to regular dames like the rest of us.
Another persistent theme is the mocking of religion, often the bread-and-butter of Hollywood, like Troy, where the Gods are mercilessly mocked, going as far as depicting that King Priam of Troy's only mistake was reliance on Apollo, highly contrary to Homer's intentions - 300 is very unkind to the Greek's Allahs and Jesuses, portraying their priests as decadent, half-men half-peanut butter creatures who live off touching the butts of poor oracles, and playing little gods over the population, this however, exists in the original comic-book.
Unfortunately, the filmmakers tried too much to hammer their pro-Bush foreign policy lest that walking-braindeath fanbase would get it that it ruined the setpieces for me, so much so that i wound up not remembering any, and don't get me wrong, i like that sort of film, I held about a gallon of pee all the way throughout Apocalypto for fear of missing a single bit of Aztec action and I didn't really feel it was racist in any sort, the difference, of course, is that the Aztecs are long gone - the Persians and their 'mysticism' (Islam?) are still around. However, it did make a fan of Frank Miller out of me, while I couldn't stand to read his 300 comic book, I went and downloaded his version of Batman, and so far, it's good stuff.
In the end, great visuals, great two-dimensional comic-book sensibilities, but shameless, god-awful propaganda, if you can stomach that, then go ahead by all means.