Movie Review: 300: Rise Of An Empire
Prinz Lee wrote this review 2 years and 10 months ago
Although the battles weren’t as strategic as the first, “Rise of an Empire” holds its own in a visceral way!
Based on Frank Miller's latest graphic novel “Xerxes” and told in the breathtaking visual style of the blockbuster "300," this new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield-at sea-as Greek general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war. "300: Rise of an Empire" presents Themistokles against the massive invading ruthless, Persian forces led by mortal-turned-God Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), and Artemisia (Eva Green), an unapologetic, vengeful commander of the Persian navy.
For what may be considered a sequel, this time around “Rise” is presented in a time-frame that runs concurrently to “300.” Penned by its predecessor’s originals (Zack Snyder and Kurt Johnstad), this rugged work of slow/rapid-speed, testosterone-dipped, gorifying piece serves as a pretty interesting follow-up as it allows one to continue to feel the rage, smell fear and taste blood!
Starring Sullivan Stapleton, which clearly is the man filling Gerard Butler’s sandals, the presentation of purpose in both characters varied in many ways. Although carrying the same might and desire to fight, in “300” King Leonidas’ defense of Sparta, along with his warriors, felt like a unity that was unbreakable – even at a cost of knowing that there would be possible death, but embraced graciously all in the name of courage and their country.
Themistokles on the other hand has that same drive, but the script never really allows him to expose the will, drive and might as a leading warrior. With fearlessness glazing off his mellow self, there’s a disconnect when trying to garner the same kind of war-based clout in defense of his country. Coming off a bit complex seeing as his warriors knew most (if not all) battles were being held on ships with very little control other than their own against the elements, the rise of valor runs parallel with uncertainty at the vicious hands of the opponent commanding her own naval warriors overseen and approved by Xerxes.
Now here’s where the film’s grungy graciousness comes into play! Why? Well, because it goes in a direction not common smong films due to this face-off being between man and woman. It’s way beyond that because this isn’t just another film-based “bad girl.” Eva Green as Artemisia is flawless in every way, shape or form. This woman’s approach upon the character is ruthless and very entertaining to watch. Although Xerxes is the character that serves as the story’s backbone to a degree, Artemisia is its clear stand-out. Eve Green embodied and portrayed everything defining dark, ruthless, mean, vengeful, unforgiving and sexy as hell. Quite the enchantress, with an enticing back-story, an edgy layout and sex scene that was pretty dark and kinky, the intention was quite obvious she was made to shine and impose the fear of God at the same time.
Although not directed by Snyder, his touches are all up in this piece. Murro’s take on the script mimics the vision we all endured and loved the first time around, but quite a few differences tend to stand out. The interesting take of battles at sea were fun to watch. As mentioned, not AS strategic as the first, the arousing amusement of watching people be disembodied in slow/fast-motion while ships are in motion says a lot about our blood-thirsty selves. When looking to not embrace such barbaric scenery, the magic that is this franchise makes us welcome it. Sure we cheer and choose democracy, but at the cost of some vile tendencies courtesy of special-effects and charming dark characters…why not?
Running alongside a great score and rough, sarcastic language, “300: Rise of an Empire” is a powerful, pleasant sequel. Not that it’ll please the masses, as I’m sure there will be those who will cringe; it’s not as bad a film as I’m sure some perceive it might be. In many ways it’s the same film, with a little less SPARTAAAA!!!!
Grade: B+ / Genre: Action, Drama, War, and Sequel / Rated: R / Run Time: 1 Hr. 45 Min.
Starring: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Heady, Rodrigo Santoro
Director: Noam Murro