Film: 300: Rise of an Empire
Cast: Eva Green, Lena Headey,Sullivan Stapleton
Director: Noam Murro
What's it about:
2007's Zack Snyder digital indulgence 300 about Spartans with six pack abs and Greek mythology and folklore spawned a series of imitators right up to this year (Pompeii) that tried hard to emulate or remix the original formula of blood and revenge to seduce the sequel hungry audience of the original.
Finally, Rise of an Empire comes along promising bigger bloodier and better action with a much more engaging story line. However, it not only fails to live up to the expectations of the first, but also struggles to create a niche for itself in a fast exhausting market of competitors.
Sullivan Stapleton replaces Gerad Butler as the lead and his Sparta lacks the charisma or machoism to handle the subject. This time he's battling an army of Persians who are set to destroy his land. The Battle of Thermopylae was the focus in 300, while here we get to hear more babble and see less of combat.
Those expecting those slow motions fights and intense battle scenes won't be disappointed. In fact this time around we also get a lot of literature on the backstory and where these characters come from.
However, you do need to pay attention to remember the names and connect the dots. Junkie XL's score has a few over the top moments that go well in hand with the mood of the combat scenes.
Lena Heady has some of the best lines and she plays them up tactfully. The scenes around the ocean and ships are some of the better highlights of the film.
Rise of an Empire constantly reminds us of why 300 worked so brilliantly. Apart from using some fantastic SFX and digital effects the film also had lead actors that were believable.
Sullivan Stapleton's speech is no match to Butler's cult "This is Sparta" line. Also we get a sense of been there seen that with several other films in the last few years trying to get a permanent spot in this popular niche.
What to do:
If you suffered from a 300 hangover long enough to lust for another round of some exotic imagery and blood curling sword fights then Rise of the Empire is the prime ticket this weekend.
Watch the trailer: