The wonderfully over-the-top epic adventure 300 conquered the box office for the second weekend in a row. According to Variety, even St. Patrick's Day and the NCAA tournament didn't stop the male-skewing movie from raking in $31.1 million this weekend for a combined total of $127.4 million.
Ten dollars of that $31.1 million came from me, and I have to say, 300 fully lived up to my expectations. Sure, the movie is lacking in substance, and the clunky script leaves a lot to be desired. But it also looks unlike anything I have ever seen committed to film, which is more than I can say for most movies, and I walked away thoroughly satisfied by the visually indulgent flick. For the rest of my take,
The movie well blends a historical-adventure tone with graphic-novel cheekiness. The dialog and narration are often delivered with epic-poetic weightiness, while the endless march of eye-candy looks ripped from the most high-brow of comic book panels. Though the scenes are crafted from digital animation and live action, the effect is more like a painting. So during the frequent moments when the dialog slips into anachronistic silliness, you can simply admire the canvas before you.
Unsurprisingly, the movie's biggest weakness is its script, with monologues that alternate between fittingly regal and completely laughable. Star Gerard Butler does the best he can with the material, throttling into total power-hungry hyperbole whenever appropriate.
But good dialog and even good acting isn't the point of 300. It is a movie about the Spartans, an ancient people literally bred for battle, as is the movie itself. And for a film that's pretty much two solid hours of fight scenes, it is captivating and even graceful at times, and unlike some other movies of its ilk, there isn't a single instant of dullness.
Photos courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures