Movie Review: “300: Rise of an Empire”
In 2006, Zack Snyder released a film called “300″ which was based on the 1998 comic series of the same name by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley. The film was about the Battle of Thermopylae within the Persian Wars and was a fictionalized retelling and was wildly successful at the box office and moderately successful with critics. The color palette was highly stylized, which is nothing new for Snyder, and the blood was over the top in places. However, the film had a heart and was a good action drama rather than a gory action flick.
The same, however, cannot be said for the sequel, “300: Rise of an Empire.” This is a movie that also uses a comic book like color palette and stars Eva Green. The movie, directed by Noam Murro, takes place before, during and after the events of the previous film and relies heavily on the Battle of Salamis. The battle is between the Greeks and the Persians and takes place mostly at sea, which theoretically is an interesting change from the previous battles. However, I had questions every time the ships were converging toward each other at night. How can they see each other? Isn’t it really dark at night on the sea? Or maybe back then the moon was much brighter?
“300: Rise of an Empire” Full Length Trailer
The film was released in 3D so there was much more bloodshed than the previous movie and it was shed toward the camera. There were some cool shots of people killing other people, but after too long, it gets repetitive and frustrating. I’ll admit, the movie had me hooked for the first half and I was really into it and then it got super slow. I can’t put my finger on it, but it felt like it hit that wall that so many movies hit. It just sort of ran out of steam, until the grand finale that leaves room for a sequel.
Eva Green was the only standout performer in this movie and she is very good. Menacing and not compassionate even for her own people, she nailed the role. The others were not worthy of mention, however that’s not to say they were bad. It was just the kind of movie where any well built male could step in and play a role. Which, to be fair, was the case in the original too. There were quite a few familiar things that came up in the story that were unsurprising. For instance, there is a son fighting with his father who isn’t happy that the boy is in this battle. I had to check my ticket and make sure I wasn’t watching the original. The gore was hilariously over the edge throughout the entire movie. I had to argue with someone when I said this. My argument was that when Eva Green’s character decapitates a man and kisses his bodiless head, the movie is over the edge.
If someone who was a fan of the previous version of “300″ asks if this is worth the price of admission, I would ask why they were a fan. If you like the blood and action scenes, you might like this. If you liked the heart and soul the previous film had, I would recommend you pop in a copy of Zack Snyder’s 2006 film and watch it again. The 3D is unnecessary and the blood gratuitous in nature, the only thing this sequel improves on is its variety of kills and more of a feeling that the action on screen is from a video game, not a film.