It's a testament to the bravery, skill, training and tactics of King Leonidas and his men that this feat could have been achieved, and the battle is still famous today as a result. It's a battle that captured the imagination of Frank Miller, renowned graphic novelist and author of the Sin City series amongst others.
Frank was so inspired, in fact, that he wrote a comic book about the three hundred Spartan warriors, and he and Zack Snyder (the director of the Dawn of the Dead remake and the forthcoming comic book adaptation Watchmen) have adapted it into a visually stunning film.
Shot almost entirely on green and blue screen sets, and on high speed film, 300 has been painstakingly put together in post-production, making heavy use of slow motion and using a background style akin to an oil painting. The use of colour and action in the film is a wonder to behold.
The story itself is relatively engaging, but is fairly simple. The script, too, leaves something to be desired, but this isn't the sort of film you watch for the plot or the dialogue. It's based on a comic book for boys, and it's a film for boys. It's packed full of action, violence, blood, gore, more action and even a bit of nudity (that's not even counting the scores of massive men standing around in codpieces, of course).
The film stars Gerard Butler and Dominic West, who you've probably never heard of, and also Lena Headey, the poor man's Keira Knightley who we've recently seen in The Brothers Grimm and The Cave. Again, however, it is not the big names that will draw you to this film, it's the incredible visual style that Miller brings to all his comic books, and has been superbly translated on to the screen by Snyder. In short, this is definitely the best film out at the moment.