run time: 102 mins
considered: Action, Drama, War
starring: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey, Hans Matheson, Callan Mulvey, David Wenham, Rodrigo Santoro, Jack O’Connell, Andrew Tiernan, Igal Naor, Andrew Pleavin, Ben Turner, Ashraf Barhom, Christopher Sciueref, Steven Cree
movie summary: 300: Rise of an Empire is the sequel to the 2007 movie 300 starring Gerard Butler as Leonidas, the leader of the Spartan army who sacrificed his life along with 299 of his men to the powerful Persian army led by Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro). After the Spartan’s defeat Xerxes continues his quest to rule the world and kill everyone who opposes him.
In the beginning of the movie, Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) tells the tale of how the great war started and why she was left a widow when Xerxes sought revenge for his father’s death at the epic battle of Marathon. Greek army General Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) is wounded during combat but manages to fire an arrow across the waters that kills King Darius I (Igal Naor) in his son’s arms. Xerxes is so furious and wants revenge immediately, but under the advice of his number one confident, Artemisia (Eva Green), he sets out on a mission to become a God-King first. After under going a 10 year transformation from human to God, he comes back and instructs Artemisia to raise the Persian army and set out to get his revenge against Greece.
Themistocles has had a busy decade trying to unite all of the Greek countries under one political umbrella when Xerxes reaches their lands and begins his attack. The 300 Spartans are the first group to respond to the threat but with no help from other armies, the warriors perish fighting for their honor. Xerxes continues to slaughter villages and towns on his way to Athens while Artemisia brings her Naval fleet to the shores of Greece in an attempt to beat the Greeks into a corner. Themistocles calls his army to battle and begins to get the boats out in the water to counter attack the Persian boats in the sea. After the first battle ends in victory for Themistocles and his men, Artemisia invites him to the her ship to seduce him into submission. When her sex appeal doesn’t get her the surrender she was looking for, she decides to call in every solider in the Persian army to man the boats for another attack on the port.
Xerxes has reached Athens and is standing on top of the mountain as the city below him burns and crumbles. He is extremely proud and boastful because he reached the heart of Greece and destroyed it. He gets word that Artemisia has suffered a loss in the sea and redirects his armies to meet up with the ships to aid in the final battle to lay claim to everything in Greece. Themistocles returns to Sparta to beg Queen Gorgo to rethink her stance about not providing aid to the rest of the country, but she refuses yet again which forces him to return and prepare the men he has left for battle.
The Persian ships fill the port and sea while the handful of Greek ships set out on a collision course to immortality. When the ships crash into each other, both Themistocles and Artemisia meet face to face again after dispatching all their men to kill everyone. Unlike their last encounter, the two enemies begin an epic sword battle that leaves one of them with life threatening injuries. Xerxes doesn’t like what he sees on the water so decides to retreat only that won’t be as easy as he thinks.
my thoughts: I was pretty excited for 300: Rise of the Empire and was not disappointed. There was no need for this movie to be in 3D, except to watch the blood fly through the air when someone got killed, but that just added to the experience. The movie continues the story from the original movie, while telling the back story, and setting up a third film for this epic franchise. Guys will go into the movie drooling over the carnage, blood, death, and the sexy Eva Green. Girls won’t enjoy the violence as much but can marvel at the sexy sweaty six-pack abs on all the warriors who battle for the love of their country.
This movie has a very dark setting like the previous one, with many of the famous Zack Snyder slow motion kill scenes on top of lots of blood shed. The majority of the fighting in this movie occurs on the water which provides for amazing sequences and CGI scenes.
Anyone who loved 300 back in 2007 will be throughly impressed with this solid sequel, a Hollywood rarity, to continue this amazing story.
my star rating: 7 out 10