Australian Council on Children and the Media

Meet the Spartans

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Not recommended under 15 due to adult themes, violence, sexual references and coarse language.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Meet the Spartans
  • a review of Meet the Spartans completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 28 February 2008.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 15 Not recommended due to adult themes, violence, sexual references, and coarse language.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Meet the Spartans
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Moderate comedic violence, Crude sexual humour.
Length 84 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Meet the Spartans is a parody of the recent film 300, where 300 Spartan warriors fend off an army of invading Persians. It also parodies other films, film characters and a number of tabloid celebrities.

After a testing time as a child and having to prove his manhood, Leonidas (Sean Maguire) becomes King of Sparta. He marries Queen Margo (Carmen Electra) and the couple have a son. One day a Persian Emissary (Method Man) arrives and orders King Leonidas to bow-down before the God King Xerxes (Ken Davitian) or Sparta will be destroyed. King Leonidas kicks the Emissary, and several other people into the “Pit of Death”, and then manages to gather together a force of a mere thirteen “warriors” to march against the invading Persians. King Leonidas, his captain, Captain (Kevin Sorbo) and the thirteen warriors hold hands and skip off to war while gaily singing “I will survive.” 

King Leonidas and his force go to “Hot Gates”, a narrow pass, where Leonidas plans to hold off the entire Persian army. When Xerxes’ army arrives it consists of about twenty men and women, including Hollywood characters and celebrities, and a blue screen showing thousands of celluloid warriors. Battles between the Spartans and the Persians include dance offs, a “badmouth-your-mother” session, an attack by the Ghost Rider, and a challenge from Rocky Balboa.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

War; child abuse; the life styles and sexuality of tabloid celebrities.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

Meet the Spartans contains stylised “comic” violence that parodied the brutal violence and violent scenes depicted in the film 300.  Examples include:

  • A man stands next to a pit of human skulls. The man is holding a baby (Shrek), who projectile vomits into the man’s face. We are told that imperfect babies are thrown away, and see the man dropkick the baby Shrek into the pit of skulls.  
  • We see Leonidas as a young boy (nine-years) fighting his grandmother. The grandmother strikes the boy and knocks him to the ground. Leonidas punches his grandmother in the face and we see the grandmother’s dentures fly out of her mouth.
  • Images of a man with blood running from wounds on his face
  • A man tied sitting to a chair is struck in the genitals with a heavy rope knot A dog then enters and bites the tied man’s genitals (we hear a crunching sound and then screaming).
  • To prove his manhood, the young Leonidas fights a giant penguin. The penguin jumps on Leonidas, knocks him to the ground and defecates in his face. Later the penguin becomes wedged between rocks, and we see a shadowed silhouette of Leonidas spearing the penguin through the mouth and head.
  • While sparring with his young son, Leonidas headbutts the boy in the face, knocking him to the ground. Leonidas “pile-drives” his son’s head into the ground (we hear bones breaking), and then body slams his son. He jumps on his son and bashes him in the back of the head with a piece of wood. Leonidas then chases his son in a threatening manner, wielding a chainsaw and then shoots his son in the head with a paint ball. Later in the film we see Leonidas telling his son to “stay tough” and punching him in the side of the head.
  • King Leonidas kicks the Persian Emissary along with several other people into the “Pit of Death’, he then kicks a Britney Spears look-alike holding an infant into the Pit of Death, a man falls in after being kicked in the genitals and another cowers and jumps in. We see a man flipping a switch labelled “Garbage Disposal”, then hear people screaming and see them swirling around in the bottom of the pit. 
  • A man spits in another man’s face.
  • A woman is hit in the face by a thrown laptop computer and falls to the ground unconscious.
  • A Paris Hilton look-alike is knocked to the ground when she is hit in the side of the head with a large shield.
  • We see the Spartans and Persians clash head-on, fighting with spears and swords. We see no blood, but hear smashing and crunching noises and see people being stabbed.  
  • Leonidas and his Spartans push a group of Persians off a cliff and they fall on the rocks below. At one stage a diving board was pictured with Persians diving off the board to their deaths.
  • One of Leonidas’s warriors jumps into the air wielding his sword, flies through the air and the crashes into a cliff face. We hear groaning and moaning as he slides down the cliff.
  • A man holds a sword at another man’s throat.    
  • In one battle scene, a man tears open the shirt of another man and pinches the man’s nipples, the same man pulls the underwear off another man and throws him through the air.
  • In one scene, Queen Margo is pictured being given a massage by a man. The man walks on Queen Margo’s back, then jumps and slams down on her back, and we hear crunching and bones cracking. Finally we see the man fall from the ceiling on top of Queen Margo and the massage table crashing to the ground.
  • In one scene, Xerxes accidentally pulls a chain attached to a nipple ring, the ring is ripped off along with Xerxes’s nipple. Xerxes then staples the nipple back on with a staple gun.
  • Xerxes shoots a man in cold blood with a gun.
  • The Paris Hilton look-alike is a deformed creature with a huge hump on her back. In one scene Xerxes pricks the hump with a dagger and pus explodes out, hurling Xerxes across the room.
  • During a dance battle, King Leonidas slides along the ground with his head hitting the ground, at which point his neck snaps (we hear the sound of breaking bones), we see his head separate from the neck with a small amount of blood and gore. Leonidas stands up and pushes his head back on and we hear a loud crunch. 
  • We see a black Spiderman costume grow over Queen Margo’s body. She punches a man in the chest with her hand going through the man’s chest as he turns to a pile of sand. A cat comes along and defecates on the pile of sand. The pile of sand then reforms into a man with cat faeces sticking to his face. The Queen then sucks the Sandman up with a vacuum cleaner.
  • King Leonidas and his men are threatened by a chained Rocky Balboa, who punches a man’s head off. We see the head separating from the body and the body falling to the ground. When the berserk Rocky is punched in the head, his scalp flies off. Rocky is stabbed in the forehead with a giant hypodermic needle full of Botox causing him to crash to the ground.
  • A blind man punches a man standing near him then walks into a rock wall and knocks himself out.                        
  • Captain is speared through the back and the spear projects out of the front of his chest. He falls to the ground, coughs up blood and dies.
  • In a parody of the computer game “Grand Theft Auto”, King Leonidas beats a man with a tyre lever, and then picks up an automatic gun and shoots several people.
  • Xerxes transforms into a giant Transformer robot and falls on top of Leonidas and his men killing them all. We see a number of bodies lying beneath the fallen Transformer.    

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes and images in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • The young Leonidas, and later his son are abused by family members in order to toughen them up.
  • Xerxes gets into a car and the car and Xerxes transform into a giant Robot.
  • We see several mutants with grossly disfigured faces and bodies and discoloured eyes and teeth.
  • A deformed Paris Hilton look-alike has a hump on her back and a grossly disfigured arm and hand.
  • Persians wear scary looking death masks.
  • The chained and crazed Rock look-alike is scary.
  • A man drinks Queen Margo’s urine thinking it to be water.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the scenes described above.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the scenes described above.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Product placement

Frequent product placement includes:

  • Subway
  • Krispy Kreme
  • Dentyne Ice
  • Gatorade
  • Skin ointments and restorers
  • American brand beers
  • Coffee Bean Bar
  • Botox injections
  • Grand theft Auto Play Station/X Box game 
  • Laptop computers

Sexual references

Meet the Spartans contains overt and covert sexual references and innuendo throughout. Examples include:

  • An infant ogre (Shrek look-alike) talks about wanting to “suckle a teat.”
  • Margo tells King Leonidas that her breasts are real.
  • When King Leonidas asks Margo to marry him, she writes some numbers on his chest telling him they are the combination to her chastity belt.
  • There is a comment about men giving each other open mouth kisses and holding hands, while men and women give each other the high five.
  • A woman tells a man “I take big black dudes.”
  • The Persian Emissary tells King Leonidas that Xerxes wants Spartan women for “sex slaves.”
  • The Persian Emissary tells Leonidas that his wife is a whore.  
  • A woman’s breasts are referred to as “milk poppers.”
  • King Leonidas while discussing military tactics says, “We’ll take them in the rear and then come around and take them from the front.”
  • A man looks at another man carrying a box and says, “He has a huge package” and then asks for an introduction.
  • Women looking at the naked body of King Leonidas laugh and make disparaging comments about Leonidas’s endowment, saying “He looks like a candle.”
  • Queen Margo displays a tattoo that says “Leonidas was here, so was xxxx, xxxx and the Oakland Raiders.”
  • King Leonidas tells his wife that she should move on if he dies. He tells her that he’d “play the field” if she died and tells her “I’ve always wanted to do a fat chick.”
  • A Spartan warrior refers to another as having “nice man boobs.”
  • Leonidas’s warriors are referred to as “war mongering latent homosexuals.”
  • A man walks into a room to find Queen Margo lying naked on the table with slices of tomato covering her breasts, etc, and makes the comment “Nice tomatoes.”
  • When asked to bow down to Xerxes, the Paris Hilton look-alike states “I don’t bow, but I do bend over.”
  • One of the Spartan fighting formations involved one Spartan mounting the back of another. During this procedure the comment was made “A Spartan always protects a man’s rear.” One Spartan tells the man mounted on his back, “get your sword out of my back” to which the other replies “I’m not carrying a sword” and the first Spartan comments “Then that’s OK.” 

Nudity and sexual activity

Meet the Spartans contains sexual activity through out and some nudity including:

  • Queen Margo appears wearing a short shirt and low-cut top revealing cleavage and bare thighs and midriff. She dances seductively, touching her breasts while she licks a lollypop in an erotic and suggestive manner with Leonidas watching hungrily.
  • We see close images of a man’s genitals wrapped in cloth (the man is sitting tied to a chair).
  • King Leonidas caresses Captain’s shoulders and plays with his hair. Captain appears uncomfortable.     
  • Queen Margo asks King Leonidas to sign her breasts and he does. Margo then writes some numbers on his chest (numbers to a combination) and then lefts her skirt to reveal her naked thighs and a chastity belt.
  • King Leonidas kisses the Persian Emissary on the mouth with the Persian Emissary complaining, “What the hell was that”. The Emissary then looks around and sees several Spartan warriors, some with pierced nipples, kissing each other on the mouth. King Leonidas and the Persian Emissary walk around holding hands.
  • We see images of a naked King Leonidas including naked buttocks, chest, back and groin, which is depicted like a doll’s plastic mound with no detail or form.   
  • Queen Margo makes suggestive gestures with her mouth towards the Persian Emissary. We then see Margo and the Emissary kissing each other passionately.
  • Leonidas and his warriors marching off to war holding hands, skipping and singing in a very camp manner.
  • A woman pulls off her skirt to reveal large nude buttocks.
  • A group of Persian soldiers pull down their pants to reveal grotesque hairy nude buttocks.
  • Two dead male bodies are depicted lying one on top of the other with each having their face in the other’s crotch.
  • At different times during the film, images of Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and Lindsay Lohan look-alikes are shown with their naked crotches exposed to the camera; images of their naked crotches are blurred out.
  • A hideously mutated man licks the face of a woman (oracle), his tongue slides from her mouth to her nose where he licks inside her nostril.    
  • At one point a scene infers that Queen Margo and King Leonidas are having sex. We hear them moaning, but the actions are inferred rather than actually depicted. Later we see Leonidas bench pressing Queen Margo and then hurling her through the air.
  • In one scene, Queen Margo lies naked on a massage table with slices of tomato covering her nipples and a slice of pizza covering her crotch. 
  • A woman blows a kiss to a man who is holding a leaf blower between his legs in a suggestive manner.
  • A man propositions Queen Margo. We see him peering at her cleavage and she lowers her dress (bare shoulders are shown). The man makes it known that he is a virgin and then states “I’m so getting laid.” The man tells the queen that it won’t take long as he has V.D. while the Queen tells the man that she has “crabs” (we see pictures of miniature crabs crawling over the queen’s underwear).
  • Women are seen dancing in a sensual manner wearing brief swimwear that exposes cleavage and buttocks.
  • A number of women are seen wearing skimpy clothing with some of the women holding and caressing each other.
  • Two dogs are shown mating.
  • Queen Margo dressed in sensuous clothing that reveals leg, thigh and cleavage dances in an erotic manner in front of a group of men, who make lewd and crude comments. The men throw money, which the queen picks up and stuffs down her front.
  • A man’s boxer shorts fall down to reveal the man wearing a nappy.
  • The obese Xerxes is almost nude (bare chest, abdomen and legs) with chains and rings piercing many parts of his body.
  • When the blind warrior returns home he squeezes the clothed breast of Queen Margo to recognise her.  

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Men drink beer.
  • The Rocky Balboa look-alike has a large hypodermic needle full of Botox embedded into his forehead.
  • At times the Britney Spears look-alike appears drunk while dancing.

Coarse language

Meet the Spartans contains frequent coarse language and put downs, including:

  • Come on you little shit
  • my arse hurts
  • your wife is a whore
  • go f…k yourself (Fuck partially beeped out)
  • douche bag;
  • chest waxer
  • you’re screwed dude;
  • O shit you got balls
  • dust busting bitch
  • tickle my nipple with a feather
  • What a bunch of dumb shits

In a nutshell

Meet the Spartans is a spoof of the film 300. It also parodies a number of other films, film characters and tabloid celebrities. Much of the humour is crude and the film contains no messages of value.

Parents who allow their children to see this film may wish to discuss:

  • Does the film’s parody or ridicule of tabloid celebrities, such as Britney Spears and Paris Hilton play down the seriousness of the social issues faced by those celebrities?
  • The film’s portrayal of homosexuality.

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