Friday, March 7

300: Rise of an Empire Review

300: Rise of an Empire
Dir: Noam Murro
Starring: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Rodrigo Santoro, and Lena Headey

Gerard Butler led the assault as the battle indulgent King Leonidas in director Zack Snyder’s adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel “300”. The sequel, which runs along the same timeline as the first film, introduces the Greek hero Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) into the battle against the Persians. “300: Rise of an Empire”, directed by Noam Murro, offers the same styled violence and blood drenched battle sequences as the first film but doesn’t offer anything more than another excuse to indulge in the adrenaline fueled chaos.

King Leonidas and his 300 Spartans have been defeated. Themistokles, a respected hero whose actions brought the wrath of the Persians, is trying to unite Greece in order lead a defense against Persia on the sea. However the Persians have their own legendary hero, a beautiful warrior women named Artemisia (Eva Green) who has a blood lust for Greeks. Themistokles and Artemisia meet on the water, the fate of Greece in the balance, as the two forces battle in a bloody, 3-D experience. 

Murro begins the film quickly with a charge of violence, offering a nice introduction with some additional information about the formation of the Persian forces and how their god-king Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) came to great power. The remainder of the story revolves around the waging war between the two forces and the plight for Greek unification. There isn’t much else to it, one well choreographed fight after another with a few inspiring battle speeches by Themistokles mixed in.

The style consumes most of the film. The slow-motion camera movements are used to amplify the violence, gushing blood is spewed with every blade swipe, and floating dust and ash particles make use of the 3-D technology. It’s amusing at first but quickly becomes monotonous. This is due impart to some overly similar sequences, most of which takes place on ships in the water. This might not be a bad thing for some as the action takes precedent over everything else about halfway through transitioning the film into a gratuitous action vehicle.

Eva Green’s performance as Artemisia is the standout in the film and actually maintains the attention on the film when the narrative begins to waver in the second half. Her viciousness and changing motivation keeps the character interesting. Sullivan Stapleton knows how to deliver a speech as Themistokles but apart from that he isn’t given much more to do except swing a sword and scream commands.

“300: Rise of an Empire” is not as good as its' predecessor, but for viewers looking for the over-the-top CG action found in the original this film will not disappoint. Unfortunately, aside from the inventive style and the great performance of Eva Green, there isn’t much left to charge for.

Monte’s Rating

2.75 out of 5.00

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