well, i dunno how they did it, but rolling three hundred tonnes of macho into one film can’t have been easy. but the problem with compressing that much macho?

you end up squeezing out kilos of cheese…

fortunately it’s not a mainland, kind-of-ordinary-but-basically-plastic cheese. it’s a good, stinky, kind of rough at the edges french cheese. the sort your great aunty mabel will turn up her nose at. but that’s just because she’s a conservative old cow with no freaking idea.

all in all a great little film. they overplay the monstrocity of the persians, and underplay the roles of spartan homosexuality (“it’s not us spartans who are philosophers and boy lovers”…. sorry mate, wikipedia says otherwise), in favour of a grand yarn about camaraderie and valour in the face of adversity.

the cinematography gives a moody, intemperate glory to all the roaring of the main characters, and makes the persians look sick, perverse, corrupt. the only failing was the constant “post-gladiator” use of golden, elysian wheat fields to signify “home, women, love”, which became a little tedious.

the only other irk was the faint but distinct taint of “freedom” and “sacrifice” in the service thereof that’s bound to infect every gun-toting nut-bar in the usa who’s looking to go to the middle east and kick some corrupt towel-head arse. let’s not forget that the mythic fight for “freedom” post-2001 is more about securing oil than allies.

oh, and no spoilers here. if you don’t know how this one ends, then you obviously need to do a little more reading…