I listened to the CBC's Jesse Wente's reviewthis morning, where he claims that "for all of its style, 300" is completely lacking in any substance".
I disagree. The movie was loaded with clear messages. Among them - real men are perfect and unblemished, and white. Good people only lust after their spouse. Evil defies traditional gender roles, has piercings and may even be lumpy or imperfect in some way. It fell short of having a crowd waving banners with "patriarchy" written on them, but only barely.
It's certainly enjoyable if you can avoid thinking about what it's saying. Lots of impressive fight scenes interspersed with bare breasts for variety. Testosterone is the primary theme of the film.
I haven't read the comic yet, but it doesn't seem out of line with Frank Miller's other work.
Also, Xerxes the evil god king appears to have been played by this guy
And finally - is anyone else getting tired of random orcs showing up in movies? It was glaring enough in King Kong, but it seemed pointless in 300.