Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Movie Review: "300: Rise of an Empire" (2014)

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Movie"300: Rise of an Empire"
Director: Noam Murro
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes

Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) is a legendary Athenian general who is rumored to have loosed the arrow that slayed Darius I (Igal Naor), King of Persia and father to ~*Xerxes~* (Rodrigo Santoro). Artemisia (Eva Green), the leader of the Persian navy, inspires Xerxes to unleash his wrath on all of Greece. He goes on a spiritual quest where he leaves as a normal, grieving son and comes back as a gold-clad God King. Artemisia brings the Persian navy to the coast of Greece while Xerxes sends his army to fight the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae. Themistocles must take what few ships Athens has and stand against the insurmountable Persian fleet. He hopes his stand will inspire all the tribes of Greece to come together as one in the name of freedom and democracy to stand against Xerxes, Artemisia, and the entire navy. 

From the idea that bore "300," the first installment of the historically inaccurate hyper-stylized abs-fest complete with dramatic blood spurts and super slow, unnecessarily dramatic movement genre comes "300: Rise of an Empire," the prequel AND sequel, bearing twice the blood, angst, and unnecessarily dramatic movement!

We think it's safe to say that we went into this movie with literally no expectations whatsoever. In the past, as is common with most sequels and/or prequels, they tend to suck. Well, actually, this movie wasn't half bad! As mentioned above, this film has even more blood than the first movie, if you can believe that. In fact, it's basically "300" on steroids. More blood, more filth, more guts, more gore, more anger, more fire...more everything. It's a freakin' bloodbath, and if you're expecting less, don't. That being said, Themistocles uses his smarts and surroundings to his advantage and overcomes the Persian navy many times during their battles against all odds. It's cool that they tied this into the movie, as it could have easily been just blood and gore. But who knew guts could flow so artistically?

Unlike the first movie, we didn't feel as connected with these characters and their plight as we did in the first one. Sure, this is not a movie where you get super attached to people anyways, but it seemed like lots of the "filler" characters were just there as opposed to having a purpose. Even Themistocles was sort of eh. The best part of the movie is the backstory of Xerxes, where he wanders slightly wrapped like a mummy through the desert until he comes to a hobbit hole and gets dipped into a magic, golden oasis only to return as ~*Xerxes~* the gigantic FABULOUS gold God King. At least this gives us an explanation as to why his character is all glammed-out.

You have to admit, Zack Snyder really found his niche with these "300" movies, and to no one's surprise, it's left open-ended. But hey, why don't you stay away from Superman, since, you know, you already found your thing here?

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 42%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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