2014 / Director. Noam Murro.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
I wasn't a huge fan of the first 300 film but I admired a lot about it. It was an effective adaptation of a graphic novel and its story was simple. The violence in that film was brutal but it was also controlled and never too gratuitous. The same cannot be said for RISE OF AN EMPIRE. This is a turd of a movie that plays out like a little sibling with a complex that's trying to outdo its older brother. Like the first film this one was shot entire in front of a green screen but nowhere near was well. The actors are so poorly lit in some scenes that the distance between them and the soundstage is painfully obvious. The story overlaps the first film by taking place before, during and after those events. While Gerard Butler's King Leonida is waging war against Persia with his 300 Spartans, this new story tells of General Themistocles of Athens and his battle for Greece. Again, like the first film the story itself is based on historical context but it is done so sloppily that it's a difficult exaggeration to accept. The movie is mostly battle sequences and they all take place at sea. Thousands of ships thrash around violent seas and all the while the humans manage to stay upright and engage in skillful combat. The acting is atrocious but that's kind of expected... what bothered me the most was the violence. I'm a sucker for gratuitous gore but this stuff was just so fucking gimmicky. Every drop of blood that was spilled and every limb that was severed was done for the benefit of 3D. Lashings of gore fly at the screen in slow motion and it all becomes such a laborious affair. There were also a stack of contradictions with the first film... for example, David Wenham seems to be in two places at the same time. The previous film had him leading charge of the Greek alliance at the end, whereas he is now little more than a sheep at sea... ah whatever, I can't be bothered with this one anymore. Needless to say I hated 300 RISE OF AN EMPIRE.