Arthur Millar's graphic novel comes to life in thi-wait, sorry too cliché.
Arthur Millar's graphic novel becomes a movie in this...well...movie. Full of gore, action, shouting, and even a narrator, this movie was sold out, cramped when I finally got in, and full of high expections. And it met 'em.
300 is all about atmosphere. The movie looks and feels exactly like a graphic novel - the camera acts more like a still life for half the shots. The rest use slow motion to capture the feel of different panels. They reflect perfectly on the genre - blood is everywhere and captured in full spray, with bodies flying from the impact, capes flowing. I came in expecting the slow motion to get contrived and tired, and though it was applied liberally, I wouldn't change any of it. The lighting is also extremely well done - you can almost see the pencil lines where shadow would be drawn in. It was like watching a picture book, only one with Dolby Digital and a 50' screen.
The acting, for the most part, was good. Gerald Butler, as Leonidas, tended to shout a lot - more than necessary - and was a slight bit too flippant when he was in a joking mood. However, when the warrior king was introspective and reserved, as he had to be in some key parts of the movie, he looked the part. He also looked the part when fighting, which was about half the movie. And since the atmosphere relied heavily on appearance and how you carried yourself, he did a marvelous job. Lena Headey, as the Spartan queen, does a fantastic job of showing the placid, hard front of her people's values, and the inner emotion she has to hide.
The dialogue was mediocre, in a grand fashion. Everything that was said was sweeping and huge, and every third word was either "Sparta" or "Spartan". And of the other 2 words, one was usually "Honour" or "Duty". But the script was good enough not to interfere with the action or the atmosphere, and the grandiose nature was almost needed.
In short, this movie was gorgeous, grand, and had some of the best action I've ever seen. The Persians were given a bit of a fantastic streak to make it just that much more legendary. The rest of the movie's aspects were good enough that you won't notice anything wrong with 'em, and the focused parts - namely, the camera - are absolutely awesome.