300: Rise of the Empire – Review
“300: Rise of the Empire” is the sequel to the highly successful and popular 2007 effort simply called “300” that starred Gerard Butler as the masculine and faithful Spartan King Leonidas and Lena Headey his devoted and voluptuous Queen “Gorgo”.
“300 Rise of the Empire” picks up at the very end of “300” where we find King Leonaidas dead and his army defeated from their spirited battle against the more powerful and ruthless Persian Army. But with the death of King Leonaidas we see in this saga the rise of a new hero in Greek General named Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) who is determined to preserve his country’s democracy by using any means he can to defeat the still advancing Persian Army.
But before the new battles begin General Themistokles see’s the importance of accomplishing his military goal by uniting all of
in a collective strategic charge in defeating the Persian force by sea. So as did King Leonidas, the Greek General must confront a formidable Persian Army led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and in this saga his trusted 2nd named Artemisia (Eva Green) a hyper evil and highly vengeful naval commander. Greece
“300 Rise of the Empire” as a visual experience like its predecessor is impressive technically and visually, but with all of the visual action in tow along with buffed muscles and ripped abs, the films moves with an implausible and pilotless feel to it. Ultimately, “Rise” starts to feel midway like watching a very big screen expensive video game where you really don’t have any real connection for the well being of any of the characters. Instead we are only left with nearly 2 hours of a potpourri of carnage coming at you from every conceivable angle, every conceivable 3D point of view, with needless overly abundant slow motion scenes and excessive amounts of large cuts, gashes, stabbings, slashes and doses of flying blood across the screen for no apparent reason than to simply 3D us.
In the original film “300” it defined with much greater clarity the need for war through the emotional prisms of nobility, passion, elegance and romance. Those brave and courageous Spartans went to battle because for them war was about honor, family and the preservation of freedom for their country. These national virtues all worked together as inseparable component for Spartan life.
In “300: Rise of the Empire” this film feels more like a soulless effort managed with the heavy thumb of a movie Executive Producer who apparently believed to make a successful sequel was to simply offer up even more spectacularly brutal fighting as it’s main calling card to win the box office. So I guess from a visual entertainment standpoint he was right but nothing more.
3 - Stars