“300: Rise of an Empire”, directed by Noam Murro, is the sequel to Zack Snyder’s film 300. The film follows the efforts of Themistokles, played by Sullivan Stapleton, as he tries to unite all of Greece against the Persian army lead by the God King Xerxes, played by Rodrigo Santoro, and his top naval general Artemisia, played by Eva Green. The first third of the movie takes place before the events of the first movie, the second third runs parallel to it, and the last third takes place after the first film’s conclusion.
The film is definitely more of a film for guys than it is for girls. It focuses more on the blood filled violence and a few characters than the story itself. It also has some nudity and some very sexual scenes, which for many will be uncomfortable to watch. The film tries to connect everything in the first one to the sequel, which works but that means that to understand everything that happens you must also watch the first 300 movie.
Sullivan Stapleton is entertaining as Themistokles and portrays him as a brilliant strategist, great warrior, and devoted soldier. He has a great contrast to Gerard Butler as Leonidas from the first movie. Stapleton puts a good performance in as what he was required to do. Eva Green does a good job as a threatening, and unpredictable villain. She is unpredictable and at times an intimidating character. She tries to be the sexy villain that for some it works and for others it won’t. What makes her character work in the film is both her backstory and how ruthless she is in battle.
Rodrigo Santoro does reprise his role as Xerxes but he is not in the film as much since it runs parallel to the first 300 film. He is entertaining to watch and his backstory is revealed in the beginning of the movie then he returns during the last third. This also goes for any of the characters that we saw in the first movie to the point that main characters just felt more like cameos rather than important characters to the film. Lena Headey reprises her role as the Queen of Sparta but her role though important feels small in the film as a whole.
The film has some good special effects when it comes to the naval battles and some of the fight scenes. The major problem is that the CGI blood though it is supposed to be stylistic and artistic in the film looks too cheesy and fake. The cinematography is enjoyable to watch. The fight sequences are very well done and enjoyable to watch. The naval combat is realistic to the time period.
The movie is enjoyable to watch for men who enjoy bloody and gory violence. It is visually entertaining and the main story is interesting but not as well covered. The main flaw with the movie is the bad blood effects and the nudity and sexual scenes that don’t feel like they belong in this movie. The film goes a little too far with those things. If you are into bloody violence and very sexual scenes and nudity then this is the movie for you. If you don’t like those things or if they offend you then I recommend that you go see another movie. It is rated R for a reason.