Monday, September 17, 2007

Week 16: 300

At first glance, 300 appears to be the cinematic execution of an intense homoerotic dream of a sixteen-year-old Xbox addict. All rippling abs and exposed glutes and un-sheathing of phallic weapons. And re-sheathing. And un-sheathing. And stop: slow-motion ab flex. Repeat.

But, after awhile, the comic book sheen and over-dramatic narration fade into the background and you begin to believe that all Spartan men looked like a cross between a Calvin Klein model and a Hasbro action figure. Or, say, the offspring of a one-night-stand between Brad Pitt and Viggo Mortensen. And if you're female or gay or a homoerotic Xbox addict, it's quite enjoyable. I wouldn't kick any of those Spartans out of bed.

300 is the tale of a famed battle of Spartan Kind Leonidas and his 300 soldiers who battled the thousands of warriors of the Persian emperor, Xerxes. I've already admitted to my weakness for believing everything on Wikipedia to be true, so you can imagine my pleasure at learning that most of the seemingly outlandish set-up to this movie is true.

Like, for example, the fact that all Spartan babies were really brought before a council to be judged worthy and if they failed (for any physical weakness or defect), they were left to die on a mountain known as The Place of Rejection. Fascinating. If I had rippling abs right now, I would flex them.

The battle scenes (and frankly, the movie is one voluminous battle scene) are graphic and stylized and totally gratuitous. This truly is a comic book come to life. I have never seen so many slow-motion abdominal muscle clenches in my life. Again, this is not necessarily a negative.

What is negative; however, is the rather lame climax you can see coming from approximately 300 flexed pectorals away. And the movie lost me the minute Xerxes (who appears to be the queen of all drag queens. Seriously, she is stunning) started trotting out super-human creatures to battle Leonidas, including one "thing" that made us start saying the "Bring out the Gimp" line from Pulp Fiction.

The movie is blessedly short because I don't think the human brain can take that much stylized bloodshed for too long. Also, watching 300 for more than 20 minutes, you begin to contemplate your body fat-to-muscle ratio and if you're like our household, the ratio comes up woefully short. Had I been born in Sparta, I don't think I would have been dumped as an infant on the Place of Rejection, but I'm pretty sure somewhere in my mid-twenties, I would have been dumped on the Place of Spreading Waistlines. I'd be lying there next to a broken down Thighmaster and Kelly LeBrock.


Anonymous said...

Can we give negative points to this movie for all the times I had to hear stupid people say "tonight, we dine in hell!"?

Motley Queue said...

Yes, right along with "we're in for one wild night." [cue bad porn music]