300: Rise of an Empire


Released: 2014
Rated: 15
Director: Noam Murro
Starring: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey, Rodrigo Santoro
Score: 1/5

300 revolved around King Leonidas battling with 300 Spartan warriors against the evil Persian god-king Xerxes. The sequel to this 2007 action film tells the events that happened before, during, and after.

The film begins with Gorgo (Lena Headey) recounting how Xerxes ( Rodrigo Santoro) witnessed the death of his father and rose to power with the help of an advisor, Artemisia (Eva Green). Forward to the time that the first film occurs and there are a few battles that take place at sea. The film ends with the hero, Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton), defeating Artemisia.

Much like the first film, the majority of the action lies in blood and slow-motion sequences. It feels as if whenever someone is struck with a blade that, due to the amount of blood seen, they’ve been cut in half. Whilst the use of slow-motion may have worked in the first film, here it just gives the feeling as if everything that made 300 such a success has just been reused. There isn’t much that sets this film apart, it even has a sex scene before the main action scenes start.

It is enjoyable to watch why the events in 300 transpired but the film leaves the audience wanting. The plot feels recycled, as do all of the effects that have been used. This isn’t the sort of film where the ‘bad guys’ win. 300 could be seen as such if it wasn’t for the final scene where all of Gorgo’s army are ready to fight Xerxes…. which is the concluding scenes of the sequel. If not for the repeated effects then the worst part of this film happens at the very beginning with the origins of Xerxes becoming a God:

Xerxes journeys through the desert, arrives at a cave, takes a bath, emerges twice as tall and covered in piercings.

That pretty much sums up the rest of the movie. What is going on?

If you were a fan of the 300 and were thinking about seeing Rise of an Empire then don’t bother. Just watch the first one again and you won’t be missing much.

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