Barton’s Movie Reviews – 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE

“THIS IS SPARTA!”

“SPARTANS! WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION?”

“FOR TONIGHT, WE DINE IN HELL!”

These are just some of the lines that I left the cinema screaming back in 2006 after witnessing the ultra-macho 300. Now, I’m not going to sit here and try to convince you that 300 is the greatest film ever made, because it just isn’t. What it was though was a film with a lot of heart.

Eight years later and 300: Rise of an Empire has been released. Serving as neither a sequel or prequel, the majority of the story takes place at the same time as the events in 300. This time round I didn’t leave the cinema quoting lines, I left the cinema feeling very underwhelmed by what I had just seen.

The main reason for this; unlike 300, the film has hardly any heart at all.

Rise of an Empire follows the tale of Greek general Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton), who leads his army against the Persian navy of Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), led by Artemisia (Eva Green).

What was it that made Rise of an Empire so underwhelming for me?

Well for starters, the acting was terrible from most throughout. 300 wasn’t loved because of its acting but at least it had a leading man that could deliver the memorable lines. Sullivan Stapleton just does not live up to Gerard Butler when it comes to leading such a testosterone fueled film. 

Bad acting is not the only thing on the agenda throughout Rise of an Empire. A bad script is what can lead to bad acting and there are plenty examples of bad dialogue to be given from Rise of an Empire but unfortunately I cannot repeat them here. Most of these were met with laughter from the audience and not because this is meant to be a comedy.

One thing I was looking forward to about Rise of an Empire were its visuals. We were going to be taken back to the same style that looked so great in 300. There is no denying that the film looks good however, director Noam Murro seemed like he was trying to show Zack Snyder that he can use slow-motion more than he can.

There is just way too much slow-motion used throughout. I felt like I had been sat in the cinema for 4 hours when I left the cinema, not good for a film that is meant to be easy to watch with a running time of 100 minutes.

The saving grace for Rise of an Empire is undoubtedly Eva Green in the role of Artemisia. She manages to steal the show from everyone else, no mean feat for a woman in such a male dominated film. 

300: Rise of an Empire was meant to be an enjoyable experience that I wasn’t looking to take seriously but just like Non-Stop last week, I found it a struggle to sit through and enjoy.

 

Verdict: 1/5

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