300 | Chicago Reader

300

Rated R 117 minutes

Frank Miller's graphic novel about the Battle of Thermopylae, where 300 Spartans battled the entire Persian army in 480 BC, has been adapted into a CG sword-and-sandal epic. The disconnect between the human actors and the digital backgrounds is more pronounced here than in a futuristic adventure like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, and because classic Hollywood cinema is so rich with epic images of antiquity, this can't help but seem chintzy. Still there are some striking ones—a dead tree studded with soldiers' bodies, hundreds of arrows swarming through the air like flies—though the palette leans mostly toward bluish backgrounds and dark crimson blood spray. Zack Snyder (the Dawn of the Dead remake) directed; intoning dramatically against green screens are Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, and Dominic West.

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