Well I decided to see this one because, from what I understand, This is essential viewing for someone of my age group.
If you like total manly blood and guts and war fighting full adrenalin filled films than this is totally the one for you. If you don't there is not a dang thing you will like about this movie. And for those of you who do like total war destruction movies like this, you will find things even in the battle scenes to complain about.
Acting/Characters: The fighting did most of the talking for the Spartans. The only two characters whom I recognized were Gerard Butler and David Wenham. I personally liked Butler much more in How To Train Your Dragon. sure he was a bit less of a bad-ass but he was much more of an interesting character IMO. As for David Wenham...well, if you stretch your imagination a little, there is Orcs, Trolls, and Gollum (and even Mumakil) in this movie in the form of the odd deformed troll-dudes that the Immortals have, the Immortals themselves whom under the cool masks appear to be Orcs, and the deformed Spartan who looks pretty much like Gollum. So, David Wenham cannot escape The Lord of the Rings here. The acting overall was generally sub-par at best. All Gerard Butler had to do was yell about how awesome Sparta is. They didn't need to act really, like I said, most of their acting came when they were fighting. It wasn't too bad at that really. 5.5/10
Plot: Lord of the Rings Helms Deep style plot but this one is based off of historical events. is it a bit inaccurate? Yeah. I would have to imagine so. A lot if it would be inaccurate if I had to guess. But I will say, some of the action scenes were pretty friggin' cool. But the sloooowwwwmmmmoo FAST SWING! thing got old after a while It was fun at first but then it got annoying. One thing I didn't see coming was how long they dragged out the movie for. I mean, it all worked with the film but the Spartans left to fight in the first 30 minutes so I expected the movie to be 1 hour and 25 minutes long. Maybe that would have been better. Not too much plot depth I must say. 5/10
Screenplay: If the AFI redid their list of top 100 famous movie quotes of all time than THIS IS SPARTA! Would definitely make the list (As well as "What we do in life echoes in eternity from Gladiator but that's besides the point) And maybe TONIGHT WE DINE IN HELL!!!Maybe THIS IS SPARTA!! for sure. Those are really the only two memorable lines in the film and the only ones that anyone cares about. It was kinda weak overall. 4/10
Likableness: It was kind of a fun movie at first, but then it kinda just got boring near the end. It was the same thing the whole movie, Gerard Butler yelling about how cool Sparta was before he did the slow mo/ fast kill. And Xerxes...not sure what the deal was with him. I understand the South Park spoof though. It was overall entertaining up to a certain point. But now I've seen it. 5/10
Final Score: 19.5/40 48% (M)
TRIVIA TIME: 1. The script demanded that most of the male cast spend the majority of their screen time bare-chested, as per Frank Miller's original graphic novel. Therefore, in order to adequately present themselves as the most well-trained and marshaled fighting force of the time, the entire principal cast underwent a rigorous and varied training regime for 8 weeks prior to shooting, organized by Marc Twight, a world-record-holding professional mountain climber. During the regime, the same exercise was never repeated twice, thus preventing the body from adapting to any one type of exertion. Gerard Butler has stated that the training was the most difficult thing he has ever had to do in his life, and when it was over, Twight admitted that he pushed the actors as hard as he's ever pushed anyone before, including himself.
2. Footage from the film was shown at the July 2006 Comic-Con Convention in San Diego. Viewers were so impressed by the clip that they requested to view it three times.
3. The quote, "Then we will fight in the shade," is an actual one from history, spoken by the Spartan warrior Dienekes when warned about the enemies' arrows. It is also used by Greeks today as emblems on soldier uniforms. (Greek: "Tha palepsoume sti skià.")
4. The line "Come and get them!", said by Leonidas in response to the Persian demand for the Spartans to surrender their weapons, is also a historical quote (according to ancient historian Herodotus), which was adopted as the motto of the Greek Army's 1st Corps. (Greek: "molon labe"). Also, The line "Come back with your shield, or on it" was a common phrase said by Spartan women to their sons and husbands. It was common Spartan practice to bear the dead soldiers on their shields. The phrase "Come back with your shield" was a reference to the fact that a soldier who showed cowardice would usually drop his very heavy shield as he ran away in order to escape faster.
5. In the movie, some of the Spartan men can be seen with trimmed beards or no facial hair at all. However, in accordance with ancient Greek custom, it was completely unacceptable to shave one's beard, lest they be marked as effeminate (even though someone could shave their moustache as long as they left the beard alone). The only time a beard was shaved was as the mark of a coward or as a sign of mourning.
6. The actor who plays Leonidas' father in the film (Tim Connolly) was also Gerard Butler's stunt double for the film. Also, Director Zack Snyder's son plays young Leonidas in the child fight training scene.