If Braveheart were stripped of its meat, spray-painted gold and served as the poorest of value meals at McDonalds, there's a good chance you'd end up with something resembling 300 -- Zack Snyder's long-awaited adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel. Imagine if the front page of (insert the name of a popular muscle magazine) suddenly sprung to life -- in all of its fake tan glory -- and brought with it one of the most overly hyped films in history. You know its bad when the audience laughs at your main villain and, when they boo as the end credits begin to roll, all there's left to do is whisper -- not scream -- "This is Sparta?" Like Robert Rodriguez's Sin City, 300 was filmed entirely in front of a green screen. Thus, it looks pretty but feels fake, making it so the entire film rests on the shoulders of its script and cast.

At least Sin City had actual talent to go along with its intertwining storyline and poetic dialogue -- all 300 has going for it is a bunch of sexy men swinging swords and screaming bloody murder. Spartans believe that death on the battlefield is their greatest glory, and so they train their sons to become warriors from a very young age, forcing them to leave home and live amongst the wilderness for years as a test of willpower and strength. This is the path Leonidas (Gerard Butler) takes as a child -- trained to fight by his father -- and sent into the woods to do battle against mother nature and a lone, fierce-looking wolf. When Leonidas emerges, he is king of Sparta -- a militant man who will fight to the death any army that threatens to strip him of his wife, his home and his freedom.

categories Reviews, Cinematical