Sunday, November 04, 2007

It wouldn’t be the least bit original to point out that 300 is a homoerotic film, but…damn is 300 a homoerotic film. Every frame bristles with the musty smell of sweaty manlove. This is a film where boys are ripped away from their mothers to become ‘real’ men, a process which seems to involve a whole lot of beating and whipping by fat, hairy sadists. This is a film where men endlessly penetrate each other with oversized spears. And this is a film where the main bad guy has a fetish for people getting on their hands and knees and worshipping him. Please, just drop the pretence and commence with the butt fucking.

The scene that made me the most wide-eyed was the one where the Persian ships crash on the rocks and lots of the Persians perish in the sea. The Spartans celebrate this event, but the way it’s filmed is hilarious. We have pounding rock music and slow motion and lots and lots of topless men dance in the rain. If I were George Michael then maybe my trousers would be around my ankles, but as it was, I could only sit and stare. Is this Zack Snyder’s idea of machismo? But what made it even worse was the use of CGI – the fake rain looked like a shower of semen. It was like the video to ‘Relax’ by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, only the fat bloke at the end was ejaculating into the faces of 300 Spartan men.

A second scene that had me wide-eyed was the one where the freak Spartan joins the Persians. Everywhere around him Persian sluts get their freak on and two Persian women even begin copping off. The film is designed for 13-year old boys – the sexuality is puerile in the extreme and the lack of imagination is outstanding. Ooh, hot lesbian action. Ooh, Persians with afros (?!?). Yeah, maybe if I was into my first year of hand to gland combat, that would be the hottest shit in the world, but the fact that this is a product of a so-called adult is embarrassing.

Just as embarrassing are the exchanges between a couple of Spartan soldiers. They’re meant to be friends and tough blokes, but instead their banter sounds more like flirting. Sample quote: “You fought well today…for a woman.” Ooh, bitchy! And then they talk about keeping up, keeping ahead and offering their backsides. Sweet Jesus, please stop making me nauseous with the foreplay and just get it on if that’s what you want to do, for fuck’s sake.

Yet another embarrassing scene is the one with the oracle. Supposedly there are these freaky priests who use these beautiful girls to see the future for them. And so therefore we’re treated to a minute of a beautiful girl, for no reason whatsoever other than to have lots of teenage boys stop abusing themselves to Gerald Butler’s abs and abuse themselves to a woman instead, dancing and writhing with see-through clothes on. It’s not so much the gratuitousness that had me shaking my head, as after all I’m a man and sometimes rather enjoy gratuitous nudity, it was the simplistic, juvenile, adolescent attitude to sex. The whole film seems to be the product of a boy’s imagination.

But mentioning the freaky priests has reminded me again of the Spartan freak. This idiot really wants to fight with his compatriots, but after speaking to his King, and showing that he can’t get his shield up properly (yes, I’ll say it for you: shield = cock), he’s told, politely of course, to get lost. Basically he’s not man enough to join the Spartans. And he’s also not beautiful enough. We can’t have a freak walking among 300 handsome, buff, rugged, macho white dudes. That would spoil the aesthetic. But with the promise of poontang, and lots of it, the freak joins the ugly, brown hordes of the Persians, so everything works out for him.

Something else that jumped out at me was the film’s half-assed attempt at ‘equality’. The Spartan Queen gets raped by a corrupt politician and then uses his very words against him when she kills him. “This will not be over quickly. You will not enjoy this.” Girl power! And at the beginning, when a Persian messenger turns up, trying to threaten the King, the Queen discreetly gives the order for the man to be killed. Again I can’t help but feel that this isn’t so much an attempt to provide a female character with more dimensions, but to give boys some more meat to wank themselves with. “Ooh, she can be totally mean and tough.” Fap-fap-fap-fap-fap. But the actress who plays the Queen is horrible. She has all the authority of a spatula.

However, worse than the Queen, is the narrator. What’s up with that guy’s voice? I’m not quite sure whether he’s pompous or just retarded. But every single line hits your ear like someone strumming away on an out of tune guitar – it just sounds wrong; the voice feels fake. And it’s made even worse when he spouts macho gibberish. “There’s no room for softness. Not in Sparta.” There’s so much talk of hardness and toughness that I wonder whether the filmmakers ever lost their erections.

But just to very briefly defend the film, I did enjoy some of the visuals. People can whine and moan about it all being shot in front of a greenscreen, but I thought the film looked great (even the shots without muscles in every corner of the frame) – there are some wonderful shots: the men falling off the cliff, the horse rearing up, the two Greek factions meeting up. Yes it looks artificial, but so what? It’s a style and I had no problem with it. The problem is just with everything else. The rest is pure, unadulterated shit.

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  1. Agree wholeheartedly with your review! You picked it right with the voiceover. The character of the narrator(Delios?) is played by Aussie actor David Wenham. Being an Aussie myself, I am well-acquainted with his film work in his natural accent - which sounds nothing like this. But even when he played Faramir in whatever one of the Rings films he was in, he didn't sound this freaky. It's like one of those phoney Brit accent the Americans cough up when they re-dub Anime.

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