Finally making its highly anticipated debut on 4K Blu-ray from Warner Bros Home Entertainment, Zack Snyder’s stunningly stylised epic has certainly never looked or sounded better. But how does the film hold up, 14 years since its release?
Based on the 1998 comic series of the same name by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley, this fictionalised retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae follows King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) as he leads 300 Spartans into battle against the Persian “God-King” Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro). But this is certainly no history lesson, as various fantastical creatures appear throughout the film, blurring the line between the historical and fantasy genres. That said, 300 has never been a film that is particularly innovative or intelligent in its narrative structure – the film is simplistic in its delivery, allowing more room for its visual style.
Yes, 300 is – and always has been – a feast for the eyes. One of the most stylised live-action films in the last 20 years, 300 is loaded with effects and more bluescreen than you can shake a stick at. It’s certainly a gorgeous film to look at, so it was a no-brainer that Warner Bros would give this one the 4K treatment. The boosted contrast, tinted colour palette and thick 35mm film grain are absolutely mesmerising in Ultra HD, giving this already beautiful-looking film a hell of a boost. A new Dolby Atmos sound mix also roars new life into the film. It is no exaggeration to say this could just be one of the finest catalogue releases on the format to date.
As we count down the days toward Snyder’s long-fabled cut of Justice League, now is the perfect time to revisit the director’s much-loved 2006 action epic. While it might not be a masterpiece, there is no denying it is a bold and exciting action film that looks and sounds utterly phenomenal on the 4K format.