Friday, March 7, 2014

Movie Review ... 300: Rise Of An Empire


300-rise-of-an-empire-poster1‘300: Rise of An Empire’ is a good example of cinematic exploitation.  With TV shows such as ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Spartacus’ returning the ‘sword and sandal’ genre back in vogue, it’s understandable Hollywood would cash in.  A sequel to 2007’s ‘300’ further embellishes the savagery and bloody conquests in which its protagonists indulge.  It ensures viewing the looming battles are never dull with the muscled and well-toned heroes and villains seizing the chance for enduring glory.

Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) is a skilled Greek general in 480 BC.  Willing to fight to the death for his country a deadly conflict arises.  Evil Queen Artemisia (Eva Green) and King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) lead the Persian invasion of Greece. Themistocles readies himself for war.  Facing an epic battle, he ensures his troops are ready to honour their country with a mighty fury their enemies have never seen.

‘300: Rise of An Empire’ isn’t the type of movie seen for its acting.  It’s a purely visual experience with the aim ensuring that viewers are put in the heart of battle spectacularly realised.  Every bruising, grisly fight is shown successfully conveying the adrenaline-charged zeal in the character’s quest for dominance.  Thankfully there’s a story to be found amongst the fights ensuring it doesn’t become a parade of endless battle sequences.  Historical fact is mixed well with the fiction maintaining interest until the next display of savagery.

Amongst the scenes of carnage, the performers are given a chance to act.  Stapleton makes for a stoic hero refusing to surrender.  He manages to make his role better than expected with Green gleefully chewing the scenery with her wicked maven.  The rest of the cast are generally nondescript although some manage to overcome the weight of their biceps and deliver strong back-up.  The other star is the amazing CGI highlighting the agony and the ecstasy of the world in which the characters live.

A solid action/historical epic ‘300: Rise of An Empire’ delivers on its potential.  It serves its genre well ensuring it will survive decades after its virtuous heroes have faded from view.


Movie Review Rating out of 10:  7

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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