release year: 2007
viewing setting: home DVD, 2/20/08
synopsis: In an adaption of a graphic novel based on actual events in 480 BC, a small force of Spartans (the world's finest warriors) repeatedly holds off a tremendously larger force of Persian invaders.
impressions: This film basically depicts the events leading up to the Battle of Thermopylae. The Spartans were elite warriors, trained for battle literally since birth, and their king (Leonidas) led them against the Persians, who are made out to be evil marauders. The theme of this movie is that it's more important to take a stand and die in battle than to surrender (even if surrender means you still get to rule your own people as a puppet under another ruler.) After seeing this, most testosterone-fueled young men will want to be a Spartan, and who can blame them? The Spartans live rough, were better warriors than anyone they faced, and had more honor and courage than any foes. A typical line from this movie (spoken after a fight in which a warrior lost an eye) : "I'm fine...the gods gave me a spare." The movie almost delved into the mythical at times, featuring monstrous enemy fighters and weird mystical beings. It also had a tremendous amount of battle and violence, which is appropriate for a war movie.
something this movie has that no other movie has: A bottomless pit that's conveniently there for when you need to kick enemies into oblivion.
acting: Gerard Butler is King Leonidas, who leads from the front and fights with the best of them. Lena Headey is his queen, who's almost as tough. Rodrigo Santoro is the Persian king Xerxes, who claims to be a god and can't deal with anyone standing up to him.
final word: One of the best ancient-battle movies ever made, and a good reminder of the difference between true warriors and everyone else.
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