300: Rise of an Empire


300: Rise of an EmpireWhen King Darius (Igal Naor) and his Persian army attacked the Greeks at Marathon, Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton), leading the Greek forces, launched a surprise attack before the Persians had a chance to prepare. During the battle, Themistokles kills King Darius in front of his son Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro). This sets off a chain of events that leads to Xerxes becoming a vengeful god-king, vowing to lay waste to all of Greece.

Artemisia (Eva Green), the head of Darius’ navy, is Greek by birth. Due to events in her past, she has joined the Persians and has a deep-seeded hatred for the Greeks. She manipulates Xerxes to attack the Greeks, despite Darius’ dying wish.

As we saw in 300, Xerxes attacked Sparta. While he was waging the battle against the Spartans, Artemisia attacks Athens. The Athenians, while not being quite as well-trained in battle as the Spartans, lead their own defensive, again under the leadership of Themistokles

The Greeks, unburdened by the shackles of armor or even shirts were obviously a superior fighting force than the Persians. Themistokles’ clever tactics, and the Greeks’ willingness to die for their country pose a formidable threat to the massive Persian army. Had the Greeks only had the numbers the Persians had, they could have easily won every battle. Nonetheless, Themistokles and friends keep finding new ways to fend off the onslaught. But will it be enough to save Greece?

300: Rise of an Empire is aimed at a very small demographic. The demographic it appeals to are those who enjoyed the original 300. There is plenty of blood and gore. There is also plenty of nudity and what I would call objectionable material that really pushes the envelope of what one would expect to see. That said, it’s still an okay movie for what it is.

Part prequel, part concurrent, part sequel to the original 300. The story is narrated by Queen Gorgo (Lena Heady), Leonidas’ wife. Throughout the movie, I was never quite sure why she was recounting the tale. Given how this movie encompasses a much broader time frame than 300, I found myself wondering how it would all fit together.

If you’re going to see the movie, it is definitely a movie to see in 3D. The screening I attended was only in 2D. This makes for a very different film. The movie was obviously intended to be watched in 3D. Slow motion scenes with blood flying, very deliberate attacks all have the action coming off the screen. The problem is that not everything translates into the format that I saw it.

As with its predecessor, it is definitely a graphic novel type movie. The effects were very stylized, yet well done. Almost everything is CGI. It does get a little over the top at times. Especially during scenes where bodies are getting flopped around. It is definitely not a movie that most women will want to see. Plenty of blood, death, and beheading. Also, more than a fair share of motivational speeches and shouting. Even with the shirtless battle scenes pervasive throughout the entire movie, the story and the action are all aimed at a male audience.

If you go in expecting a movie like 300, you won’t be disappointed in this film. If you go in expecting anything else, you will be quite surprised.

My biggest question is why do all the Greeks have Scottish accents?

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