Years before King Leonidas led 300 Spartan warriors against the unstoppable Persian army, a young Athenian warrior Themistocles, played by Sullivan Stapleton killed Persian King Darius leaving his son Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and the commander of his fleet Artemisia (Eva Green) to seek revenge against the Greeks. Several years later, Xerxes forces take on  Spartans headed by Leonidas, Themistocles and Artemisia’s fleets clash in an open sea trying to get an advantage in the ongoing war between empires. This is the main plot of the 300 Rise of an Empire.

It has been quite some time when audiences got to watch a Greek war epic novel “300”. To some who are waiting for so long for a follow up, it might  be hard to get the momentum of the film’s entry as it tackles ancient history. For others who enjoyed that movie, it is not hard to understand this prequel/sequel because the director, Noam Murro together with his stunt and visual effects team had done a good job in recreating on those elements that had worked well in the “300” movie. In this movie, 300 Rise of an Empire it is the Athenians led by Sullivan Stapleton’s Themistocles that steps up to take on a larger Persian fleet.

300 Rise of an Empire is all about a sweet revenge.

300 Rise of an Empire is all about a sweet revenge.

The movie, 300- Rise of an Empire is the first and the leading visually driven action set pieces. From the very first sword battle, it is very obvious that no one involved is trying to reinvent the helm. Using the same formula to speed up action and slow motion; therefore, it becomes as a violent and fierce film. The amount of blood spray becomes intoxicating at times, which has been used by its filmmakers to enhance the violence and earn its R- rating.

Xerxes’ origin and how he transformed into a God is not particularly handled, it takes place so quickly with a little explanation on how Rodrigo Santoro looks like himself. In the movie, he takes a dip into the pool then comes out from a foot taller, trimmed from head to toe and covered in gold embellishments. He is barely seen in the movie, he disappears so that the focus of the story will be on the sea battle between Themistocles and Artemisia.

But, Stapleton did a good job in holding the film together just the same how Gerald Butler led the first movie. However, Eva Green’s portrayal of the evil Artemisia often surpasses Stapleton’s acting, specially their scenes together. The story of Artemisia and why she,  a Greek woman would side with the Persians against her former people helps to set her character as one of those good movie villains.

This movie finds a way to stimulate the look and feel of Synder’s movie without making it feel like a retread. What sets the film apart from the “300” is it has various sea battles that are beautifully orchestrated and filmed, its action often slowed down wherein you can feel like you are staring at an oil paintings in an art museum.

The movie is beautiful though there is so much expositional dialogue and narration which is to expect from a big historical war epic movie. Sometimes, the timeline gets confusing because it flashes back to the past, then goes back to the present. As much as and 300 Rise of an Empireare quite the same,in the the end, you’ll be led back at the point after the killings of Leonidas’ 300 and it is not so clear how much time had come to pass.

Watch the full movie trailer of the movie, 300 Rise of an Empire.

300 Rise of an Empire would have worked just fine as a standalone movie in the series without many flashbacks. Overall, though the movie tries too hard to tie into the original “300” and sometimes goes overboard with the expositions Rise of an Empire is an epic movie that is filled with fantastic and extraordinary visuals that eventually work as a worthy follow up to the .

Category: Movies

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