How did this one slip through? That’s all I can think of to say right now: How did this one slip through? I sat in the theatre waiting. Waiting for the switch. Though I refused to take the bait (too many movies I’ve seen, says I) I still waited for the switch. There’s always a bait and switch. You don’t make the white guys the good guys and the non-white guys the bad guys without a switch — especially bad guys in turbans. Turbans! But there was no switch. Here’s a movie about free men dying to protect freedom against tyranny — where the anti-war voices are corrupt, cowardly, dead-wrong, and politically driven — where people talk about the honor of dying for one’s country — where a strong women urges a skittish council to declare war because the enemy already has — and there’s no switch. And then to top it off: The movie’s actually good.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a conservative or pro-Bush film. If it were it would be just another Hollywood polemic. It’s no message film, either. It is first and foremost a highly sylized, very violent battle film that will appeal to conservatives for the same reason it’ll have close-minded liberals — spoiled by thirty years of getting their way in darkened theatres — grinding their teeth: The film is not liberal.
The author's conclusion does a good job of summing up the movie's appeal to audiences who love it in spite of liberal critics:
I’ve no doubt critics are calling 300 old-fashioned, and worse. But they’re wrong. After forty years of liberal rule in Hollywood it is nihilism that’s old-fashioned. It is moral relativism that is tired. It is political correctness, the always-noble people of color, the always-evil white guy, and the metrosexual that is cliched. A film with a clear divide between good and evil is something new. A film that celebrates patriotism, heroism, sacrifice, freedom, and honor is something revolutionary. In 1955 300 would be old-fashioned. In 2007 it makes a counter-culture statement as strong as Easy Rider in its day.