When the original 300 arrived in theaters, seven years ago, I remember having to wait to go see it. It was sold out. So rare that a film is sold out these days. In 2007, no believed that this film from the director of the remake of Dawn of the Dead, based on a comic, would do anything at the box office. Visually amazing and an inspiring story made 300 the sleeper hit of 2007. So why the hell did it take seven years for the sequel to get made?
There are a lot of reasons. The first is probably the most important. 300 wasn’t meant to spawn a sequel. 300: Rise of an Empire takes place during, after, and before 300. It is a lot like watching Back to the Future: Part 2. Yes, you had better have seen the original or Michael Fassbender and Gerald Butler just seem to make spectacular cameos. The sequel focuses on the origin of the original film’s villain, Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro). However, as the film starts to unfold, we learn that Xerxes is just a puppet Emperor and Eva Green’s character, Artemisia, is the true power. This complicates the story and shifts our focus from the badass God-like villain, to a woman who rises through the ranks to become a master commander in Xerxes’ father’s army. This tirade from villain to villain really starts to complicate things. Yet, that is not the downfall to Rise of an Empire.
The story of Greece’s empire is the backbone to the film. When Xerxes and Artemisia come a-conquering, we are introduced to Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton). The main problem for the audience is having the memory of Gerald Butler’s King Leonidas stuck in their heads. The reason that so many people loved 300 was because of his performance. Speech after speech and moment after moment, you are ready to follow him anywhere. Outside of some brilliant seamanship, Sullivan Stapleton’s Themistocles is about exciting as our hundredth slow motion, blood soaked kill. How are we supposed to get on board for the adventure when we are just that, bored?
At one point, Themistocles does some up the audience’s feelings about the film. It happens after his meeting with Artemisia to discuss terms. He walks out of her cabin and has a look on his face signifying, “WTF just happened?” That may have been the most perfect scene in the whole film. I knew exactly what both the actor and the character were feeling. What just happened and why am I in this movie? This particular scene, where our two main characters do more than just “talk” brings up another point. I have heard many people, all male, say that this scene makes the movie. “Why?” is my first and only question. “Because you get see Eva Green naked”. As great as that is/ was, that doesn’t make a movie. If you really want to see that, I suggest a Google search or watching the film Dreamers (2003). However, that is a film that you will probably want to unsee afterwards.
If you like slow-motion splatter fests and Eva Green, this is your pick of the week. As for me, not so much.
Own "300: Rise of an Empire" on Blu-ray 3D combo pack, Blu-ray combo pack, 2-disc DVD special edition and Digital HD on 6/24.
Top 5 Picks of the Week: 1. A Hard Day's Night (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray + DVD)
2. Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 6 [Blu-ray]
3. Enemy [Blu-ray]
4. Wolf Creek 2 (BD / DVD Combo) [Blu-ray] 5. Monsters From Beyond The Sun (1959)
ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS
300: Rise of an Empire (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack)
300: Rise of an Empire (Special Edition) (DVD + UltraViolet Combo Pack)
300: Rise of an Empire (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack)
Blood Ties [Blu-ray]
The Chef, The Actor, The Scoundrel [Blu-ray]
The Chef, The Actor, The Scoundrel
ROB THE MOB
ROB THE MOB (BLU-RAY)
Wolf Creek 2 (BD / DVD Combo) [Blu-ray]
Wolf Creek 2
Code:Breaker: Complete Series (Limited Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Code:Breaker: Complete Series (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Dna 2 Complete Series
Dragon Ball Z: Season 5 [Blu-ray]
Ranma 1/2 Set 2 Blu-ray
Ranma 1/2 Set 2
Samurai Bride Complete [Blu-ray]
Samurai Bride Complete
School Days Complete TV Series
Boondocks, the - Season 4
The Boondocks: The Complete Series
Pac-Man & The Ghostly Adventures - Pac Is Back
The Black Book (Film Chest Restored Version)
Chinatown / Two Jakes
A Hard Day's Night (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray + DVD)
A Hard Day's Night (Criterion Collection)
Legend of Six Fingers
The Ouija Experiment
Screamers (Something Waits in the Dark) (BluRay)
SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY
Monsters From Beyond The Sun (1959)
Winter's Tale (2013) (Blu-ray+DVD+UltraVi... Combo Pack)
Bewitched: Seasons 3 & 4
The Bridge: Season 1
I Spy: The Complete Series
Lost Girl: Season 4
Mama's Family: Season 4
Masters of Sex
My Favorite Martian: Season 1
NYPD Blue: Season 6
The Partridge Family: Season 1
The Partridge Family: Seasons 1 & 2
The Partridge Family: Season 2
Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 6 [Blu-ray]
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