Starring: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey, David Wenham, Rodrigo Santoro
Directed by: Noam Murro
Written By: Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 42 min
The timeline for 300: Rise of an Empire, is set to run before, during and after the events shown in the original 300 movie. Though it took me a few minutes to realize that! So while King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) was shouting about Sparta and drop kicking Persian messengers into deep dark holes. A bloke called Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) was trying to unite Greece against the Persian navy lead by Artemisia. Played with a considerable amount of style and grace by Eva Green. She certainly makes an impression that’s for sure!
Rise of an Empire in my opinion is a great follow-up to the original movie. It continues the themes set out in the original film, and expands our view of this conflict. While I described the visuals in 300 as polished bronze. The sequel would be more like bloody steel. The action is more complex and ambitious, but still really well choreographed and rendered. Damn right amazing at times too. Sullivan Stapleton is decent enough as our new Grecian hero. But make no mistake, this is Eva Green’s movie, and considering her characters back story, you’d be forgiven for being confused who to root for.
If you liked the original 300, I think you’ll enjoy this too. It’s more ambitious than the original, and the visual effects are obviously better. If you haven’t seen 300, I think you’ll be okay to watch 300: Rise of an Empire first. Some elements will be a little confusing, but not so much that your enjoyment of the film will be effected. This film doesn’t have as much quotable dialog or humor as the original, and the regular Greek army is not as interesting to follow into battle as a bunch of Spartans! 300: Rise of an Empire, like the original, is meant to be over the top stylized violence. More fantasy than physics, so keep that in mind.
As with the original, this should be seen on a nice big digital screen. I saw this 3D, and wasn’t too impressed. A regular 2D matinée showing will do it justice. At home a HD showing is recommended.
Best element for me:
Eva Green. Her performance as Artemisia is worth the 2D ticket price alone!