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Friday, March 7, 2014

Movie Review - 300: Rise of an Empire

Movie Title
300: Rise of an EmpireYear
2014
Genre
Action, Sequel, War

Story
This sequel is based on Frank Miller's (Best known for his ground-breaking work on the Dark Knight Returns mini series in 1986 that propelled him to super-stardom) yet to be released GN (“Graphic Novel” to the uninitiated) named Xerxes. I am so far unaware of this project by Miller until now. And now that I am aware of it, I’m anxiously awaiting the release from Dark Horse.
 
Done in the same visually dark & bloody style of the Zack Snyder’s 300 (2006), this movie isn’t really a sequel per se but tells of the stories (yes, in plural) that explain why Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) now has the obsession to obliterate the Greeks.
 
We are now told of how a Greek hero – Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) had killed King Darius, Xerxes’ father, right before Xerxes’ helpless eyes, in the legendary Battle of Marathon back in 490 BC (10 years before the story of King Leonidas in 300 aka the Battle of Thermopylae).

Back to the “present” (480 BC) where in the aftermath of the sacrifice of King Leonidas (of Sparta), Xerxes presses on with his attack on GreeceAthens being the next target.
 

Now, a respected hero & political leader of the Greeks, Themistokles scrambles to unite the various Greek states to muster of a defense force to counter the Persian attack from their colossal naval fleet, hence the movie title Rise of an Empire. Here, we are introduced to the Persian fleet’s ruthless & vengeful commander - Artemisia (Eva Green) who ironically is a Greek.

Altho’ this movie focuses on Themistokles and his Greeks, Queen Gorgo (Lena Heady) of Sparta, King Leonidas’ wife, has not been left out as she plays a pivotal role.Acting
I'm not familiar with Sullivan Stapleton (who plays Themistokles) but he's definitely an actor to watch (this, I'm sure the ladies will agree with me as he gives Gerard Butler a run for his money when it comes to his physique.)

Eve Green, despite being one of my favorite screen hotties (watch for this post at another time) is suitable for the role but seems to have hammed it up a little too much. Having said that, she does send the message across of her ruthlessness but the inner pain from her tragic past that made her into this vengeful, hateful and traitorous Persian commander who leads the naval fleet to obliterate the Greeks didn't really come thru'.

Lena Heady, despite having little screen time, made every minute of her screen time count. As mentioned earlier, Queen Gorgo plays a pivotal role in this movie.Overall
There were a couple of instances where it made me go "Huh? What's going on" due to the rather supernatural/fantastic elements in the movie but I guess movie-makers should be allowed some degree of artistic freedom.

I went to see the 3D version but as I've always said, 3D doesn't really do anything for me and I still maintain that watching movies in 3D isn't really worth the money. Agree/disagree?These were when I saw sea monsters in the ocean and also the look/design of the hunchback (which looked too much like a character from an animated movie).

Other than that, this movie is extremely graphic (Hey, it is from a Graphic Novel after all...). And I would've liked it a little longer because at the end of the movie, it felt like a double-episode of a Tv series. It left audiences hanging. Yes I understand that this leaves room for another sequel, but, well, that's my gripe.

Despite that, I'll say this movie is a must watch! Go out and watch it.
Rating: 7.5/10 

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