Movie Review: Zach Snyder’s ‘300’ glossy, mindless, and just about perfect


Zach Snyder’s 300 is a near-masterpiece that ignores all reasonable aspects of storytelling, such as, say, plot or character development, but nonetheless perfectly achieves what it set out to provide: glossy, highly stylized, mindless entertainment.

There´s an art to the artlessness here, and it´s wondrous to behold: everything looks perfect – any flaws appear to have been airbrushed from the landscapes and actors; even the lepers look like they might have stepped out of GQ. Admittedly, not for all tastes; some may find this a nice advertisement but will be left waiting for the actual film.

As the God-King Xerxes’ Persian empire is about invade Greece, Spartan King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) attempts to form an army to combat them. When the corrupted ‘elders´ of Sparta deny him, he takes 300 of his best soldiers “for a stroll” to Thermopylae to meet Xerxes’ forces upon arrival.

The rest of the film is mostly a lengthy, multi-structured, beautifully choreographed and gloriously violent battle, with occasional scenes back at Sparta as Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) attempts to drum up support for her husband´s forces.

Butler is a revelation as King Leonidas, creating an unforgettable character – the only memorable one in the movie – that shall remain an icon of perverted heroism. Lack of story or plot results in a focus on cinematography, style, and energy; we also get to savor ridiculously corny and anachronistic one-liners that haven´t been uttered since 80´s Schwarzenegger flicks.

Only flaw: overbearing and mostly unnecessary narration, which does little but distract us from the visuals. Otherwise, it´s perfect – the ultimate testosterone-fueled male fantasy.

All that´s missing from this exercise in glossy excess is hardcore pornography.



Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at