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MOVIE REVIEW: FTN reviews 300: Rise of an Empire

March 4th, 2014 by Irwin Fletcher Comments

300: Rise of an Empire (18)
Directed: Noam Murro
Starring: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green & Lena Headey
Running time: 102 min

Greek general Themistokles leads the charge against invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes and Artemisia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy.

Themistokles (Stapleton), an Athenian General and hero for slaying The King of Persia en years ago, must unite all of Greece from the oncoming onslaught by Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), the Kings Son.

Transformed into a living God, Xerxes, along with his most prized General, Artemisia (Eva Green), and the Persians continue their fight with Greece. But can Themistokles unite all if Greece including Sparta and find the ships he needs to win his battle at sea before all of Greece falls?

Its been eight years since 300 leapt across the silver screen and trailed with it gallons of CGI blood, screams and rippling six-packs, but carrying with it a script that was certainly not of epic proportions. 300: Rise of an Empire, set during the same period at its predecessor, has more screams and battle cries, more CGI blood, more six-packs than an off license, but sadly the acting is as wooden as the ships that carry these Adonises.

The acting is physical and the film is simply one fight scene after another, complete with ultra slo-mo speed so that the blood literally spits out at the viewer. There are clashes of shield, hacked limbs and now that the battles are mostly at sea, we have added crashing waves and smashing of oars.

The film is let down very badly by its clunky script; indeed this is a film where the dialogue is only a second or perhaps third addition to this film next to the action and the CGI. At times the audience will simply chuckle at the one liners or woeful attempts to blend battle speeches with a hint of Greek-esque poetry.

The battle scenes do tend to drag on and at times the viewer is watching an extended episode of Spartacus, complete with nudity, gore and violence. The film decends into decadence with a sex scene that is neither erotic nor entertaining and appears to have been added simply to appeal to the teenage male audience that it’s clearly aimed at.

For an action film based upon an exciting graphic novel, at times the movie comes of a little boring. However, fans of the first film will surely love this opened-ended sequel and will enjoy baying for the CGI blood that splatters its way across the screen.

2 out of 5

I'm an LA journalist who really lives for his profession. I have also published work as Jane Doe in various mags and newspapers across the globe. I normally write articles that can cause trouble but now I write for FTN because Nerds are never angry, so I feel safe.