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300: The Rise of an Empire - Film Review

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by Juran Hakim (subscribe)
Lover of the written word. Contact me on Facebook - www.facebook.com/juran.hakeem
Published June 14th 2014
Who doesn't like Greek Myth & Legend

The first 300 film hit our screens in 2006 and from since then fans have been waiting for the promising follow up. I cannot be totally confident in saying that it was worth the wait. Although the second installment, in what looks to be a trilogy, is visually stunning and contains as much blood, violence and sex, if not more than its predecessor - however there still seems to be something amiss.

Could it be the strong black beard and determined stare of King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and his 300 strong Spartan warriors, or the absence of a storyline as tangible as the firstů I believe both aspects resulted in the poor ratings for 300: The Rise of an Empire.

The legend is said to have started with an Athenian general by the name of Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton), who struck the heart of Persian King Darius (Igal Naor) with an arrow during battle; leaving his son Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) to take to the throne.

Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton)

Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro)


300: The Rise of an Empire is set just before the events told in the first 300, another perspective is displayed as the narrative of 300 prolongs; the death of Leonidas and his men and the story that follows is all covered in detail.

The fallen King Leonidas surrounded by his men...

Themistocles, although absent in the first film, features heavily in the sequel, and plays the role of protagonist against the deadly Artemisia (Eva Green); King Darius' most trusted form of protection, now bequeathed to the commands of the God-King Xerxes.

Artemisia (Eva Green)

With the first film the battle took place on land; high rising mountains and cliff edges. The second film shows the battle mainly taking place on sea; stout wooden ships and thrashing waters. I imagine the third installment will take place on both land and sea - hopefully we wont have to wait another several years to find out.

The level of blood and gore is certainly captured on screen, and is a staple of what to expect in a 300 movie. Writer Zack Snyder had a clear idea of what ingredients to throw in the pot for this film; the recipe certainly hadn't changed - which may have been detrimental to the overall product, for fans and anticipants expecting that little bit more.
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Why? Because you waited several years...
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