300: Rise of an Empire (REVIEW)

written by Mistress von Gearmaster(@vonGearmaster)

Like the first 300, the best part about this movie was the Spartans.  Unfortunately they were barely in this one.

I said it.  It was bad.  It was really bad.  It was like a focus group looked at 300, tried to find out why people liked it, then just repeated all the high points over and over and over and over again.  There was no epic feel, no saga, no heroes running into a lost battle.  Just slow motion fighting, over and over and over again, battle after battle after battle.  Not to mention the gratuitous “Look Ma I’m in 3D” shots, where the quality would drop for a second.  I went with a few people, and I was not the only one that noticed it, so I know I’m not just being picky.

I honestly have no idea where they were going with the film.  There were several levels of flashback scenes happening at once, yet not really stating where the storyline was supposed to start, so it took a good 20 minutes before you realized what order everything was supposed to go into.  There was no archetypal epic feel that you get from giant mythos characters like Leonidas.  The flow of the movie was choppy and had a completely different style and flow than the first one.  I couldn’t even figure out who I was supposed to be rooting for.  

Xerxes being... godly...

Xerxes being... godly...

Most of the movie was spent with Artemisia.  Who was fantastic, if not a little whiny at times.  But with a movie called 300: Rise of an Empire, I really thought they were talking about the Greeks, not the Persians.  Almost the entire budget from what I could tell was spent on the Persian side, while the Greeks were sloppy looking.  Visually speaking of course.  The polish of the original 300 was almost completely gone.  The mystery as well.  It was like watching several TV shows all at once, everyone just seemed to be yelling at you to pay attention to their part. 

THIS! IS! (not) SPARTA! (but we're trying)

THIS! IS! (not) SPARTA! (but we're trying)

The movie would have made a much better graphic novel (yes I know it was based off a graphic novel series).  It was a series of very beautiful images, interspersed with motion and dialogue so they could call it a movie.  It was all show and no substance.  Artemisia was the only character that jumped out at you, but that was mainly because at least a third of the Persian budget was spent on her clothing, make up and hair.  Queen Gorgo of course was equally stunning, but as I said, she was Spartan, and they were in only about 5 minutes of the movie.

Eva Green as Artemisia

Eva Green as Artemisia

I’m not even sure what else to say.  It was obvious everyone tried really hard.  No one did a bad job.  It was just a bad script.  

Signing off