300: Rise Of An Empire – Greece Is The Word – Review

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Still from the 300: Rise of an Empire trailer

Courtesy Warner Brothers

It took 7 years to make the sequel, and THIS is the best they could come up with?

They’re back!  Well, not The 300, but people who kind of know The 300.  They are friends or casual acquaintances.

Set around the same time as the first 300, but focusing on other characters in the nearby vicinity, Sullivan Stapleton stars as Themistokles – the Athenian leader who killed Xerxes father and inspired the young man to become a ruthless dictator hell bent on revenge.  While Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) is off battling with King Leonidas, the dude’s kind of adopted sister, Artemisia (Eva Green), leads the Persian Navy into battle against Themistokles, and could win if the Greek warrior can’t find a way to unite all of Greece to fight the Persians.

Are we looking at this year’s Razzie winner?

300: Rise Of An Empire is a movie completely and utterly designed around one special effect repeated over and over and over and over again to the point of cartoonishness.  Each person who gets stabbed or sliced or decapitated instantly gushes about a gallon of blood in some weird slow motion directly at the screen in the shape of a modern art sculpture.  Is this what moviegoers have been waiting for all of their lives?  Is this the height of entertainment these days?

You have to admit, a movie that combines a decapitation scene and gratuitous female nudity in the first two minutes is setting “new standards” in film, and even a horse gets to stomp someone’s head in (which could be a Hollywood first), which means 300: Rise Of An Empire is one of those productions that places value on the prurient.  Sure, you get fight scene after fight scene, but none of it has any dramatic weight to it.  You’re watching a high budget snuff film at some level.

Writers Zack Snyder and Kurt Johnstad (based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller) don’t have to do much writing.  Typing in “grunt” or “bellow a war cry” probably didn’t take a day of reflective soul searching to come up with, but they also toss in these ridiculous speeches that are supposed to be rabble rousing inspirational Shakespearean-type moments, but, instead, drone on and on to put you to sleep.

Plus, they provide a 15-minute narration to open 300: Rise of an Empire that is supposed to set the stage and explain everything, but is so confounding it explains nothing!  No one is here for the writing, and Snyder and Johnstad don’t do anything to change your mind.

Then, to justify making you pay the 3D ticket price or the special effects budget, we are subject to constant floating embers and dust in every scene, which makes you think it is snowing.  Instead of adding to the atmosphere, it becomes distracting.

300: Rise Of An Empire is nowhere near as fun or good as the first one.

0waffles_sml0 Waffles (Out of 4)

300: Rise Of An Empire is rated R for strong sustained sequences of stylized bloody violence throughout, a sex scene, nudity and some language

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