Thursday, March 08, 2007

Critics Gush: "Man Beard!"

Star Gerard Butler (Phantom of the Opera), playing ubër-male King Leonidas, fares as well as anyone can
- Annie Frisbie

Here stands the Spartan king Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and his 299 buddies in nothing but leather man-panties and oiled torsos, clutching a variety of phalluses they seek to thrust in the bodies of their foes by trapping them in a small, rectum-like mountain passage called the “gates of hell(o!)”
- Nathan Lee of The Voice (as reported on blog@newsarama)

...lots of shots of a sweaty, mostly unclad Gerard Butler sporting his magnificent beard while he's kicking some Persian ass
- april

But by Zeus, this is a ripping yarn, told with limb-rending gusto, an iconic ancient battle....

Butler, in a career-making performance of Russell Crowe dimensions, roars pretty much every line that isn't pillow talk to his stunning and flinty queen (Lena Headey).

"SPARTANS!" he bellows at his phalanx of hoplites.

"Hoooo," they bellow back, crashing spear to shield.

"THIS is where we fight! THIS is where they die!"

I am sorry, but if that line, spat out on a tinted dreamscape (a digital soundstage) version of an ancient Greek pass, doesn't thrill you to the marrow, you need to have your marrow checked...

And Butler, chewing the scenery with a violence that suggests he relished every sit-up, conjures up what Shakespeare's Henry V was talking about when he spoke of those not there for the great battle as men who "shall think themselves accursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap."

Don't hold yours cheap. Go, manly movie-lovers, and tell the Spartans that here is a movie worth the popcorn.

- Roger Moore


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