Weird, Wrinkled and Wordy

March 15, 2007

I Could do With a Spot of Violence

Filed under: 300,Casino Royale,Movies — Valorie Hoye @ 9:44 am

To quote Spike, probably my favourite TV character of all time, there’s nothing like a “spot of violence” to pick you up after a run of antibiotics knocks you flat for a week. That a woman would say that may come as a bit of a surprise, but here is my case. I read a review that mentioned 300 was generating a 100% approval rating from women in the preview audiences, and speculating that was because Lena Headey’s Queen Gorgo character was such a strong woman.

I went to see 300 on Tuesday, and I can say that theory is entirely wrong. I appreciated her character and her performance, but what appealed to me most was the MEN. Gorgeous men, stunning visuals, amazing action and a killer soundtrack. It is the nobility that really gets me. Noble sacrifice pulls my heart strings every time, whether it is the last wild stallion in the Southwest protecting his herd in Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, or King Leonidas protecting all of Greece from a despot determined to rule the world. It is the definition of “heroism.” I think that is what appeals to all women.

Of course, it helps that Gerard Butler is an extremely charismatic actor who has given a number of interesting performances in rather disappointing films. That kind of sex appeal is rare nowadays, and I’m glad he’s finally been given a vehicle to showcase his talents. And a costume to showcase everything else…

Was the violence overwhelming? Not to me. It is highly stylized, but less disturbing than what was in Sin City. War is nasty and brutal, but that was a reality faced by soldiers who for centuries had to dispatch their opponents in an up front and personal way. That they could face that prospect unflinchingly is hard to grasp for a person today. This film gives an idea why Spartans were feared in their time.

After seeing 300, we topped off our evening with Casino Royale, fresh out on video. I like the new bond, Daniel Craig. And at least partly because he is so coldly brutal and efficient. It is believable that he is a man worthy of a license to kill. That he is deadly. What is his noble sacrifice? The isolation of his soul. He cannot trust anyone and still be good at what he does. Yeah, that one gets me too.

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