Starring: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey
Director: Noam Murro
Running Time: 102 mins
300: Rise Of An Empire is an American film and is the sequel to 300. After King Leonidas and his 300 men are killed in battle, the Persians push further towards Athens on their invasion campaign, however the general Thermistocles leads an offensive to save Greece from Persian invasion as well as to avenge Leonidas and his men’s deaths.
From the revelation that the first film was, this is a real disappointment. It shows moments of promise, particularly in its references to the previous film, however the majority of this is just an over-the-top copy, mostly with regards to its visual effects and its plot, however this has even less of an interest in telling a historical story, and is more obsessed with mad and unintelligent action.
In fact, that’s where I’ll start, because it’s easily the most disappointing part of this whole film. One thing that really impressed me about 300 was that it managed to bring together action, ancient history, fantasy and drama all under one umbrella in a relatively interesting and entertaining way, which was very original then.
However, here, it’s just a hulking, dumb action film. I don’t know much about the history of this period, but I can tell that there was a lot less reference to the actual context here, which was replaced by some horrifically painful and long-winded action sequences that really dragged on and bored me due to a lack of intrigue.
Many people have looked at the first film as a very macho, testosterone-filled drama, and whilst that worked well in making the action and the characters so exciting, it’s another example of where they just go too far in this film. All of the men and their strength are totally blown out of proportion, the two female characters, who are meant to be strong leaders, are still very weak in comparison to the brave men, and there is one horrifically graphic sex scene in this film, which goes on for about five minutes, which totally confirms this idea.
Finally, the most irritating thing about this film was the fact that the visuals have been transformed from being utilised to create elegant and dramatic images to ugly and action-packed ones. Firstly, there’s just too much slow-mo in this, and whilst I thought that the first film was close to crossing the line, this goes way too far with it, and it becomes hugely irritating. Worst, however, is that that distinct comic book, brownish look that 300 had is turned from being like golden sepia into being like sick, with some of the action scenes being some of the most disgusting and unpleasant I’ve ever had to look at, and that was a serious disappointment.
Overall, this gets a 5.2, because of its copycat story, over-obsession with action and being all macho, coupled with some absolutely disgusting visuals.