In early 2007, I toured Ellis Island with a group of Canadian middle schoolers. (Don't ask why.) As we waited for the ferry, the kids wouldn't stop attacking one another with tree branches and screaming about Sparta. When I asked what was up, they regaled me with the tale of Leonidas I and the Battle of Thermopylae.
An oral tradition nearly 2,500 years old continued with boundless excitement on that bright, cold day. Soon thereafter, I bought a ticket to Zack Snyder's masterpiece 300 and realized that those young men (potential brave warriors of the North, the lot of them) were right. The movie kicked ass and, more importantly, changed movies forever. Nine years later, it's even clearer how influential this picture truly was.
Just days from the premiere of Zack Snyder's latest, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, we already know that fans of DC's grimdark style will be the true victors. Critics, on the other hand, seem ready to treat this latest entry worse than Superboy-Prime treated Thanagar (i.e., not good). I remain ever optimistic. I know Zack Snyder isn't some hacky vid-bro only good for making European lunch meat commercials with Sylvester Stallone. He is an auteur, and his best work, 300, should earn him your unending respect. And even if you don't like it, you have to accept that 300 didn't just change movies, it may have changed the world. Here's why: