Release Date: March 7, 2014
Director: Noam Muro
Run Time: 102 min.
Screenplay: Zack Snyder | Kurt Johnstad | Frank Miller
Staring: Lena Headey | Eva Green | Rodrigo Santoro | Sullivan Stapleton
Genre: Action | Drama | War
Synopsis: After its victory over Leonidas’ 300, the Persian Army under the command of Xerxes marches towards the major Greek city-states. The Democratic city of Athens, first on the path of Xerxes’ army, bases its strength on its fleet, led by admiral Themistocles. Themistocles is forced to an unwilling alliance with the traditional rival of Athens, oligarchic Sparta whose might lies with its superior infantry troops. But Xerxes still reigns supreme in numbers over sea and land. Written by Gargantuan Media
Now I have seen the original 300 (2006) and I absolutely loved it. I mean how could you not? Fast forward to 2014 and we have the follow-up 300: Rise of an Empire, and while it does an admirable job and isn’t a bad movie, it certainly isn’t anywhere near the original.
Now there are a few things to keep in mind. General Themistokles is a very different character to that of King Leonidas. Likewise Athens was a very different City-State to that of Sparta. Athens at this point in history was immersed in an experiment called democracy while Sparta was a monarchy. Athens was a centre of politics and thinking, while Sparta was a centre of military and war. As such, we are dealing with two very different men, places, ways of thinking, manners of being and as a result two very different movies.
Sullivan Stapleton, while he does a very admirable job in his portrayal of Themistokles, is very wooden. I just felt that a politician should have been much more compelling and dynamic than he was portrayed. Eva Green does very well once again in the role of the villain, this time taking on the role of Artemisia. The problem is the lack of chemistry between the two of them. And honestly, that sex scene was the most pointless and boring sex scene ever. It was thrown in for the sake of throwing it in. Lena Headley is one again awesome in her role of the Spartan Queen. Her portrayal of a vengeful and grieving Queen Gorgo is spot on. *Interesting Historical Fact – Queen Gorgo was actually Leonidas’ niece as well of his wife. She was the daughter of Leonidas’ half brother Cleomenes I.*
The graphics were once again amazing. Of course, they lack the original impact that they had when first done in 300 back in 2006, but they were still stunning. The naval battle scenes were epic and just so well done. And what were those things swimming around in the water?
All in all 300: Rise of an Empire was an enjoyable movie. Just as long as you don’t get caught up on comparing it to the original 300, you should enjoy it.