Cert: 15 Runtime: 102 mins Director: Noam Murro Cast: Sullivan Stapelton, Eva Green, Lena Hadley, Hans Matheson and Rodrigo Santoro
Better we show them, we chose to die on our feet, rather than live on our knees!
Zack Snyder created a film that captivated audiences in 2008, based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel of the same name. Do we really need another? personally I don’t think so! So what is it all about? More than 30 years before the events of ‘300’, the Greeks and Persians clash at the pivotal Battle of Marathon. Still a young man, the future Persian God King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) mourns the death of his father as he falls under the influence of feisty, ambitious naval commander Artemisia (Eva Green). She witnessed her entire family being slaughtered and now burns for vengeance. Meanwhile, general Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) sets out to bring together the disunited Greek nation states and avenge the death of King Leonidas.If you’ve ever had an intense want or need to see a poorly choreographed sequence where a man and a woman engage in hand to hand combat while simultaneously having intercourse, then “300: Rise of an Empire” may be right up you alley. “300: Rise of an Empire” pretty much gives fans what they came to see: unrealistic violence, men with no shirts and all around graphic novel inspired visuals. But director Noam Murro does throw in his own healthy dose of uninspired casting and a few misogynistic visuals (I genuinely feel awful for those women who were dragged to see this).
Aside from violence which repeatedly slipped back and forth between cool violence and stupid violence, another annoyance stems from the fact that these films are predicated on the slow motion effect, an effect so prevalent and overbearing here that even when characters are simply standing around and chatting, there are floating embers (and dust particles during interiors) in the background, in a constant state of slow motion. There is also a term going around called “speed ramping”, which is when a character on screen begins performing an action in slow motion, but gradually “ramps” up to normal speed in order to give more epic emphasis to the action. This is another overdone effect sprinkled indiscriminately throughout.That said, the story is actually pretty well constructed. At least it kept my interest. “300: Rise of an Empire”, a storyline which interestingly enough occurs simultaneously with its predecessor but in a different location, follows Greek general Themistokles as his small army goes head to head with the seemingly endless Persian army, lead by the bloodthirsty, fetish gear wearing Eva Green and that bald, tan guy with a super deep voice. But again, I don’t feel that most people who go see a movie like this really care about the story. So, if you don’t, you still have the unrelenting, bloody action sequences and buff guys running with swords in slow motion to look forward to. Just don’t waste your time!