The first time I heard of the Battle of Thermopylae was my first year teaching 11 years ago. The first unit I taught was about the Greeks and two city-states Sparta and Athens. I was fascinated with the Spartans and their warrior culture. When I read about the Battle of Thermopylae, I was amazed at the heroism of the 300 Spartans and their Greek allies as they fought to defend a mountain pass from a Persian invasion. A few years later, a student introduced me to a graphic novel called the 300, which was comic based on the exploits of the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae. I enjoyed the graphic novel, but it really didn’t catch my attention. Earlier in the year I started reading rumors online that a 300 movie was being made, but it didn’t appear too backed by the big studios, so I really didn’t put much stock in the film that was being made. Boy was I wrong! 300 is an awesome spectacle of mayhem and carnage that recreates the historic Battle of Thermopylae, but the film introduces so much fantasy and mythology that the film is definitely more of a fantasy movie in the vein of Lord of the Rings, rather than a solid historical fiction piece. The story creator sprinkles in some historical facts and events to ground it in some reality, but after that all bets are off. I loved every minute of it! This is a movie that was created to entertain, and it does in spades! Think of 300 as a rated R Lord of the Rings, with more intensity and violence. As my old English teacher Mr. Devlin said, “Suspend your disbelief” and sit back and enjoy the ride. If you are looking for action, adventure, mayhem, perfect specimens of humanity, creatures, history, love, war, intrigue, then this movie is for you! Check it out!
Grade: A PS- The only thing that really bothered me, was the unique use of color in the film, but otherwise a must see.