Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Gayest Bloodbath In History

I saw 300 on Friday night. I had low expectations, but even so it was sadly uncompelling as an action-packed tale of epic heroism. Gerard Butler, who I first noticed in the underrated b-movie Reign of Fire, had been satisfying in everything he'd done to date. Unfortunately, he offered nothing to the role as King Leonidas but bombastic shouting (and, I must admit, an incredibly hot bod).

Afterward my friends and I came up with alternate movie titles such as 300 Gorgeous Men, 600 Meaty Thighs, and 2400 Ripped Abs. The movie itself was like a gory video game with some killer graphics, but repetitive, and burdened with lame cutscenes that couldn't be skipped by hitting the "X" button. And watching someone else play a first-person shooter is about as interesting and engaging as watching porn after sex.

I planned to spend some time writing a funny post on this film, but the New York Times beat me to it: A.O. Scott's review was hilarious and pretty much spot-on. So much for that idea. "The Persians... have vastly greater numbers... but the Spartans clearly have superior health clubs and electrolysis facilities." So true. Thank God they saved Western Civ from the Beast in the East!

The only thing I might add is that the film labored curiously hard to let us know that the Spartans, at least the titular manly-men, AREN'T GAY. "He's too young to have known the warmth of a woman," Leonidas remarks clumsily about one of his soldiers. Which only made the movie seem gayer. What is more homo-erotic than a grunting host of shirtless men with perfectly-toned torsos? Maybe the filmmakers wanted to make it clear to their core audience that watching a bunch of macho men in leather thongs and bondage gear isn't faggy.

The film suffers from the same thing that a lot of Frank Miller comics suffer from: overwrought, over-earnest narration. Miller claims to be a fan of manga, but then he saddles his story panels with retarded-son-of-Hemingway-wannabe exposition, where in real manga there would be none.

So even my low expectations were frustrated. But I still had a good time! The violence, like the dialog, was so outlandish and cartoonish that one couldn't help but be amused. Toward the end, when one of the more sinister villians got his due, the audience erupted in applause.

As the credits were rolling, I overheard one man make some inaudible insult about the film to his friend. His friend, obviously not of the same mind, retorted, "Not every movie has to be pretentious." To which the first replied, "that movie was pretentious as fucking hell!"


ladieslovetk said...

why wasn't i invited? this was a funny funny funny review. sam we should make a movie.

Knight of Nothing said...

Dammat I should have invited ya! The plan came together rather late, I'm afraid. Next time, amigo.

Thanks for the props! We should totally make a movie - the sequel to Kung Fu Christmas, duh. You could reprise your role as Li Tree Claus, babay!

GeistX said...

I enjoyed the movie. I glossed out the 'freedom and balls' jaw-flapping and enjoyed the visceral visual experience.

ladieslovetk said...

I didn't mean that kind of movie.

Knight of Nothing said...

LOL! You're making me blush, TK.