March 10, 2007
"300" Kicks Ass
Went to see it yesterday. Of course, the action sequences were nothing short of awesome. It was just a kick-ass movie, as you can thoroughly gather from the previews. This movie had pretty much everything--hundreds of Spartans, millions of Persians, swords, blood, a giant wolf, gold, severed heads, hot chicks, killer elephants, more blood, explosions, bare boobs, a dude with saws for arms, naked lesbians, even more blood, lots of hand grenades and at least one pissed-off rhinoceros. The fact that the squishy ones don't like it speaks volumes. If not for the unfortunate shortage of zombies, chainsaws, shotguns and Bruce Campbell, "300" would probably be considered the most perfect action movie in the history of mankind. It may be anyway. It kicks that much ass.
Much of the action footage was in the previews, so you've already seen a lot of that. What wasn't as prominent in the previews was the unmistakable and uncompromising political message of "300." Despite what some of the squishy lefties may want you to believe, "300" is a movie of substance. In between the fighting, the shouting, the blood and the naked lesbians, a substantial chunk of screen time was devoted to the political wrangling within Sparta over a conflict that was seen by many Spartans as King Leonidas' conflict, and his alone. While Leonidas is facing the Persians at Thermopylae, his queen maneuvers behind the scenes for the right to address the Spartan council directly. Her message to the council is clear: Freedom isn't free--it must be bought with blood. Leonidas' fight is a necessary fight for freedom, and the Persians were not going away. This was not, as the Persian King Xerxes claims, "a misunderstanding." The differences between the Spartans and Persians could not have been settled by the "sharing of culture" he offers Leonidas. Freedom was at stake, and it could either be defended or abandoned. Negotiation was simply not an option.
Much like "Braveheart," this movie speaks clearly, forcefully and without compromise. The message of this movie could not be clearer. There is no nuance in this film. The philosophy running through this movie was once infused into the very DNA of Westerners, but it is, today, all-too-often forgotten by its people. I believe those principles are still buried in there somewhere, somewhere deep in the hearts of the men and women of the West. As difficult as it may be for some to believe, much of the West is in serious jeopardy today. Many of our enemies can see the weaknesses, but too many of our friends and "allies" can't. "Western" Europe can survive if, and only to the extent that, it regains pride in itself and what it once believed in. In thousands of years of conflict, Europe has never once fallen to Eastern power. If present trends continue, we will likely see Europe fall to the East in our lifetimes. We may very well go to our graves knowing that of all the sons and daughters of Europe who bled and died for Europe throughout recorded history, ours was the generation that let the East take Europe without a fight. The West as a whole will live on only so long as its people recall that freedom is fundamental to what we have, and that what we have built is worth fighting for--and even, if necessary, worth dying for. If we lose that, we are finished.
Go see "300." Go see it again. Take your friends to see it. This movie richly deserves to set some box office records.