The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

COLUMN: ‘300’: Action packed, lacking storyline

Ashanti Thomas
Staff profile for Cam’ron.

“300” gives viewers a very minimal storyline with a lot of action. 

“300” takes place in 480 B.C. in the midst of a war between Persia, led by King Xerxes– played by Rodrigo Santoro, and Greece, which is led by Leonidas– played by Gerard Butler. Greece, only having 300 soldiers, goes into the war knowing the inevitable outcome and motivates many other armies to unite. 

The backstory to Leonidas was very entertaining. Showing how rough his upbringing was allowed audience members to know how he got into the position that he is in. 

Despite his vigorous background, he treats all of his men with respect, making him a good leader. We see in multiple situations how Leonidas refuses his men of certain positions or acts and the way he goes about it ensures his leadership. 

He went into the battles with a premeditated game plan, which works in some of the battles. Obviously, these are kind of bare minimums when it comes to being a good leader, but these are the ways that the film allows itself to be apparent to viewers. 

The shot selection and camera work are very impressive and unexpected. It seems that all scenes were structured constructively. 

Some of the dialogue scenes were interesting to look at due to the cinematography. 

The sped up/slowed down shots were stunning. 

With that said, at times the CGI does not look good. Some of the bloodshed and background shots just look cheap. Most likely, if it was remade today with modern technology, it would improve. 

Additionally, the entire film was shot on film, causing it to have a grainy visual effect. 

According to the Chicago Tribune, a few parts of the set were constructed physically; everything else that was not physically constructed was accomplished through 1,300 visual effect shots. 

For the time that it came out, it probably looked spectacular. However, with technology progressing, looking back at a somewhat dated film like “300,” it is easy to point out what could be improved. Again, the film is not horrible. 

The dialogue was rather poor, which goes with why the storyline was poor as well. 

Some of the conversations during the war scenes felt kind of forced and awkward. 

For example, after the queen killed her rapist, she said the same thing her rapist to her as she killed him; it was just kind of cheap. There are other times when the dialogue was not that good. 

Connecting to the poor storyline aspect, the story felt random in general. The audience is thrown in the middle of a war and have to just go with it. 

More context would have made the story more interesting and immersive. Understanding how they got to where they got and more reasons as to why they are fighting could be more engaging. 

The story began to improve towards the end with the queen killing her rapist and the messenger coming back with a larger army to take on the Persians, but unfortunately the movie ends right then. 

Part two of the film, “300: Rise of an Empire,” came out eight years later, which could leave viewers uninterested after the hiatus. 

The movie concluded very quickly. The cliff hanger with the messenger coming back was a satisfying ending, but the character did not seem to stand out enough to be exciting for a sequel. 

The speech he gave at the end was motivating too, and the acting was great. 

In general, throughout the film the acting was great. Additionally, for the Greeks to be outnumbered in the battles and have game plans and be victorious, they died very quickly at the end of the film. 

It seemed they went in with no real procedure or method on how to approach the main war. 

They had a little theatrical stunt when the man jumped out of the huddle, but that was it. 

Obviously, they knew the odds of them winning were slim to none, but it looked like they did not even try. 

The Persians presented them with the same attack plan earlier in the film, and the Greeks knew how to conquer it. But when the Greeks were presented with the plan a second time, they did not do anything. 

The shot with the soldiers lying dead was beautiful. It looked like a renaissance painting or a beautiful historic piece. The fade out with that shot went along so well. 

With Zach Snyder directing, it was not a disappointing film. It was just kind of underwhelming. 

As stated previously, the film seems perfect for someone who cares little to none about a storyline and would just like to sit back and enjoy all of the action that the film has to offer. 

It’s not a bad movie to watch, and it’s not a waste of time. There are just some things that can be improved to allow this movie to have a better rating. 

Films like “300” are difficult to make, so there is a lot of respect for the entire curation of the movie. There are not a lot of movies like that, there are only about three or four big Greek mythology movies in general (“300,” “Troy,” “Gladiator” and the “Percy Jackson” films). 

Rate: 2.5/5 


Cam’ron Hardy can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812. 

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About the Contributors
Cam'ron Hardy
Cam'ron Hardy, News Editor
Cam'ron is a junior journalism major. He previously served news editor and campus editor at The News. 
Ashanti Thomas
Ashanti Thomas, Photographer
Ashanti Thomas is a senior digital media major. She previously served as photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

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