Sin City author Frank Miller's sweeping take on the historic Battle of Thermopylae comes to the screen courtesy of Dawn of the Dead director Zack Snyder. Gerard Butler stars as Spartan King Leonidas and Lena Headey plays Queen Gorgo. The massive army of the Persian Empire is sweeping across the globe, crushing every force that dares stand in its path. When a Persian envoy arrives in Sparta offering King Leonidas power over all of Greece if he will only bow to the will of the all powerful Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), the strong-willed leader assembles a small army comprised of his empire's best fighters and marches off to battle. Though they have virtually no hope of defeating Xerxes' intimidating battalion, Leonidas' men soldier on, intent on letting it be known they will bow to no man but their king. Meanwhile, back in Sparta, the loyal Queen Gorgo attempts to convince both the skeptical council and the devious Theron (Dominic West) to send more troops despite the fact that many view Leonidas' unsanctioned war march as a serious transgression. As Xerxes' fearsome "immortals" draw near, a few noble Greeks vow to assist the Spartans on the battlefield. When King Leonidas and his 300 Spartan warriors fell to the overwhelming Persian army at the Battle of Thermopylae, the fearless actions of the noble fighters inspired all of Greece to stand up against their Persian enemy and wage the battle that would ultimately give birth to the modern concept of democracy. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide
I saw a preview for this movie several times in the theater. I had absolutely no interest in seeing it because the previews made it look so fake. A lot of it was filmed in front of a green screen and about a gazillion special effects were added in after filming was done. The previews had almost a video game feel. Better than a video game because it looked like real people, but they didn't REALLY look like real people. I also had no interest in it because I already knew the story of Sparta and whatnot. Not in great detail, but enough to know how the movie ended.
However, it was K's turn to pick a movie and this is what he wanted to see. It was actually a tie between this and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but we decided this was the more important choice for actually seeing in the theater.
And I loved it. Apocalypto is still the most bad ass movie I've ever seen, but this is in the top five if not just plain number two. It was gory and there were sexual situations, but it was a wonderfully done movie. Strangely enough, that fake looking thing that had turned me off in the previews didn't happen at all. It was a beautiful movie. I was captivated by the story line but also just by how it looked.
If I was a ruler of anything, I hope I would be like King Leonidas. I also loved Queen Gorgo and one specific scene that I don't necessarily want to give away because it was just that great.
I reccommend this movie if you're okay with some gore and disgusting visuals (the wall they build is particularly gross but I see the point/reasoning behind it). The story is great even when you already know how it will end and you will leave all pumped up and ready to take things on.
Rating: 3 of 4 stars.