300

OUT 5 OC­TO­BER / CERT 15 / 117 MINS

Empire (UK) - - REVIEW - MARK SAL­IS­BURY

Zack Sny­der’s first comic-book movie was a loud, blood-soaked adap­ta­tion of Frank Miller’s ac­claimed Dark Horse se­ries that re­counted the Bat­tle of Ther­mopy­lae in 480BC, in which 300 Spar­tan war­riors took on the might of the Per­sian em­pire with its war ships, ar­moured an­i­mals and masked army, and, well, lost. Shot en­tirely against green screen with dig­i­tal back­drops and CGI hordes recre­at­ing Miller’s comic pan­els in ex­act­ing de­tail, Sny­der’s ul­tra-vi­o­lent, hy­per-stylish ap­proach to an­cient his­tory was a box-of­fice smash, mo­men­tar­ily re­sus­ci­tat­ing the sword-and­san­dals epic, and trans­form­ing its ridicu­lously ripped, red-cloaked, leather-jock­strap-wear­ing, shouty lead Ger­ard But­ler into an ac­tion-movie star. Pumped up, wholly un­re­al­is­tic, and with Sny­der’s trade­mark slow-mo­tion car­nage to the fore, 300 re­mains, per­haps, too re­lent­lessly one-note to be truly thrilling, but is a spec­tac­u­lar vis­ual feast nev­er­the­less.

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