“Spartan” (2004)


Sternly disciplined and rigorously simple.

“Spartan” is not just an adjective, it’s a movie thanks to David Mamet who brings his trademark “so unrealistic, it starts to sound realistic” dialogue to this 2004 thriller.  No, it’s not a prequel to “300”.  This is a story of manly men (and Val Kilmer) working all night and day to rescue a girl.  Which girl?  Well, the movie never states it plainly, but we’re sure you can figure it out.  It’s sitting at a 6.6 on IMDb, probably due to audiences expecting something like “Taken” and getting something like “The Spanish Prisoner” with more knives.  Honestly, it can be a confusing movie if you’re unable to piece together the story from the bits of information it reluctantly gives you.  A (David) Mamet film can be like a cold, withholding mother who doesn’t really want you to succeed because then you might move out of the house…

Oh yeah, and it co-stars Kristen Bell just as she was about to hit the big time in “Veronica Mars”.  Mark loves this movie, Chad is indifferent.

Performers of note: Val Kilmer, Derek Luke, Ed O’Neill, William H. Macy, Tia Texada, and Kristen Bell.