I just saw this & have to say every part of the movie was excellent! Normally, you have a few points that drag - it's just to be expected. Well, not in this flick.

The movie centers around the king-god Xerxes & his Persian army laying waste to all kingdoms in his path. His courier presents a message to Sparta: pay us tribute or suffer the consequences. Obviously, being Spartans & dedicated to warrior ideals, they're not so accommodating.

King Leonidas, portrayed by Gerard Butler (Phantom of the Opera) decides he must prevent the impending invasion of Xerxes, played by Rodrigo Santoro, by massing his army at the "Hot Gates" (Thermopylae) & preventing an onslaught which will murder the first embers of democracy. The problem? Corrupt bureaucrats & oracles prevent him from sending the whole of the Spartan force to counter the invasion.

Leonidas - being the ever-adaptable (almost Marine-like) ruler - assigns, you guessed it, 300 men to accompany him as his "personal guard". What ensues is some of the most impressive action in a movie to date. The images are enhanced by the acceleration/slowing of certain moments. This, magnificently placed, does wonders to highlight the fervor & brutality with which the doomed men fight.

Throughout the lengthy episodes of battle you're witness to all sorts of excellent encounters - from verbal sparring between kings Xerxes & Leonidas, a betrayal & finally a climactic scene where you can only believe the Spartans were proud to place themselves.

As an additional little finish, Leonidas utters perhaps the harshest insult to an enemy that would be a compliment from anyone other than a Spartan. You can feel the shame in the pathetic creature as he winces.

There is notable violence in the film but I have to say it wasn't overdone or ruthlessly gory. Sure, I wouldn't take any kids to see it as there is some nudity as well.

It's a great work that offers a glimpse into the selfless life of those who serve. At all times the Spartans are the very embodiment of their traditions - never wavering, never fearing. In so many ways, this film seems an homage to the men & women who serve this country everyday. Though they may be against terrible forces, derided by wind-changing relativist politicians & receive all too little appreciation for those they protect, never do they fail to do their sworn duty.


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