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Watch Gladiator get mauled by Mortal Kombat in this hypermasculine sword and sandal epic based on Frank Miller's graphic novel about the Battle of Thermopylae. A ripped Gerard Butler stars as King Leonidas, defending the Greek city-states with 300 well-trained (and toned) Spartans against the massive invading hordes of Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro). Though the Spartan to Persian kill ratio is roughly 1:10000, a troop surge is being hotly debated back home, giving snake-like Theron (Dominic West) room to conspire against Leonidas and Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey). Like Sin City, 300 was shot against digital backgrounds, allowing director Zack Snyder [Dawn of the Dead (2004)] to closely replicate Miller's stylized, copper-colored cels. Iran officially objected to the film's portrayal of the ancient Persians as debauched, deformed, Orientalized transvestites. Looking past all the Persian monsters, glistening abs, bullet-time spear attacks, and overall blood-drunkenness, 300 could be summed thusly: Support our troops. Support our troop increase. These colors don't run, and neither do Spartans.

Zack Snyder---USA---2007---116 mins.