After its victory over Leonidas' 300, the Persian Army under the command of Xerxes marches towards the major Greek city-states. The Democratic city of Athens, first on the path of Xerxes' army, bases its strength on its fleet, led by admiral Themistocles. Themistocles is forced to an unwilling alliance with the traditional rival of Athens, oligarchic Sparta whose might lies with its superior infantry troops. But Xerxes still reigns supreme in numbers over sea and land. Written by
Gym Jones, who burst into the spotlight for the physical training they provided to the male actors in 300 (2006) were again employed to train the cast for the sequel. They trained the cast before filming began and also throughout filming so that the cast could attain and maintain the physical shape required for their roles. The return of Gym Jones for the sequel was due to their long standing relationship with Zack Snyder who wrote and produced the sequel. See more »
In one of the last lines in the movie Themistocles notes that "All of Greece has united against you, Delphi, Thebes, Olympia, Arcadia and Sparta". In fact most of Greece remained neutral and the powerful city state of Thebes was allied with the Persians. It is of course possible Themistocles was simply bluffing, but the tone and finality of the scene implies otherwise. See more »
I can't understand why Zack Snyder didn't direct this sequel, and how someone who has never directed an action sequence before and just one feature film can be entrusted with a production of this magnitude. That would already be a recipe for disaster, even though in reality Snyder was supervising.
In an attempt to live up to it's predecessor, 300: Rise of An Empire is action-packed, presents impressive visuals and is very bloody. In fact there is more action, more blood, and more nudity than in the original 300. As for the plot, there really isn't much to chew on. A naval commander, Themistocles is supposedly trying to reunite Greece. Since the story takes place before, during and after King Leonidas leads his men to fight the Persians, it can be hard to follow at times.
Most of the acting was mediocre and couldn't quite compensate for the weaknesses in the story. The Australian actor cast as Themistocles in my opinion was a very bad choice, and comes nowhere close to what Gerard Butler did as King Leonidas in 300. He just doesn't bring that rugged heroic presence on screen as is expected. Interestingly I read somewhere that director Noam Murro insisted it would be Sullivan Stapleton who played this character, claiming he was 'the one'. Eva Green on the other hand is plays an excellent villain as Artemisia.
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