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300 (2007) Dir. Zack Synder Hull CineWorld”

A combination of petty politics and superstition leave a King and 300 of his best soldiers standing against the might of the Persian Empire.

The film is based on Frank Miller’s (Sin City) graphic novel about the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C which saw the Spartan Elite attempt to take on the might of the Persian Army against crippling odds.

The key phrase here, dear reviewers is this; Graphic (ie. Cartoon like) Novel (ie. IT’S MADE UP, DUMMY!)

Thus; “ A ridiculous rendering of the ancient world”, just proves that Phillip French of the Observer thinks that the makers are setting out to make an historically accurate film. They aren’t.

French continues; “The cast seem to be responding to an invitation to a fancy-dress party at a gay New York club that reads: ‘Come as your favourite ancient Greek [we’ll provide the Trojans].

Which bit of “novel” don’t you get Mr. French? At no point are the makers claiming to re enact history or provide some kind of nerdy Sealed Knot type of experience.

The story is loosely based on the aforementioned Spartan Battles, but it’s aim is to make an enjoyable action film with plenty of well choreographed hand to hand fighting scenes and it does just exactly that.

It recounts how the barbarous invading hordes of Persia were heroically held back by just 300 oiled and muscly Spartan warriors long enough for the Greek armies to regroup and for Athenian democracy – and by implication, all our inherited western values – to be saved for ever more

.” Another stupid , lazy review, this time from Peter Bradshaw, a guy who should know better.

When are these fellas going to lighten up? He criticises the use of computer graphics, as well as being sniffy about the depictions of the available weaponry.

This film is good old fashioned fun, entertaining, well made and the graphics enhance the feel of Miller’s imagination, and the picture’s genesis in comic book land.

What’s wrong with a film where the under dog pulls of some unlikely victories against insane odds, and where you can cheer them on whilst booing the baddy? It’s a piece of silly, teenage, testosterone filled daftness. And I enjoyed it immensely.

On a serious note the Iranian Government are up in arms, declaring it a sleight on their heritage and a crude piece of Western Propaganda.

Instead of telling them to “lighten up”, I would ask why this society feels so under threat that it perceives that this film is setting out to do them down?

Paranoia? Perhaps. But when the UK is calling for Iran to stop it’s Nuclear Programme whilst we continue to flout our Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty responsibilities by commissioning a new WMD system, it’s no wonder Iran feels hard done by.

It is a young society, with a large secular and educated Middle Class who are often horrified by the outbursts of their President, the manic anti Semite Ajimabad, but if we continue to grant them pariah status then they will rally behind him and the consequences for the region will make Iraq look like a mere spat.

The illegal capture of our sailors may actually be an opportunity to engage with the regime and show the moderates in Iran that their Leader is damaging progress and hopefully they will oust him.

Why do you think Apartheid fell in South Africa? FW De Klerk didn’t suddenly awake one morning declaring; “We have to right this moral wrong!”. His Capitalist mates said; “It’s threatening our ability to do business. Do summat”.

That’s how it works, and so the go getters and the youngsters with their iPods, mobiles and t’internet will be the ones to see President Nutter is holding them back, and get rid.


About dermotrathbone

Writer and co author "Through Red Lenses". Activist Unite the Union, Save Our NHS Hull. Fan of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Hull FC, Munster and Ireland Rugby. Views are mine alone and may not reflect the organisations concerned.


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