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
The original script featured King Leonidas from 300 (2006), but he was ultimately cut out. This was due to Gerard Butler, who turned down to reprise his role as Leonidas, since it "wasn't really [his] thing". See more »
(at around 57 mins) When Themistokles returns from the ship of Artemisia telling the others that "The next time that we face her, she's going to bring all of hell with her." he looks to the side and in a close-up his contact lenses are clearly visible. See more »
"300: Rise of an Empire" will be no surprise in delivery other than it is possibly better than the first? There will, still, be fight scenes reminiscent of flawless dance moves, and the great choreography is what lends the film to being a great 'dance' movie (hello Step-Up 3hundred). The difference in approach comparatively between the two films would be the perverse nature of the second's delivery of the story at hand. The first had a far more romantic predisposition.
The story is more or less the same - Persians are descending onto Greece and taking over. The epicenter for the second take on the Persian take over is Athens and its people. The men are not as perfectly ripped as the Spartans. The soldiers are made up of various sized men (but there's still a great amount of shiny muscle) and not nearly as romantic in appearance as the perfect Spartans.
The sex scene is more sadomasochistic and less love making. The passion between "King Leonidas" and his queen in "300" is filled with affection and attachment whereas the scene in "300: Rise of an Empire" is riddled with force, power and control. The sexual tension in both scenes are similar in sexual tension but both portray a very different tone, one more romantic than the other.
The lighting is impeccable and the story lent well to the way in which the 3D was utilized. Instead of aspects 'popping' out at you they seemed to go deep. The landscapes had so much depth that it was hard not to make the correlation between the depth "300: Rise of an Empire" was reaching to in terms of the Persian take over. As it was not the next installment of "300" but more insight into the original story, as the story goes deeper than Sparta and the army of 300.
Eva Green is outrageously good and compelling to watch and to some degree is the "Leonidas" of "Rise of an Empire". Not to say that Sullivan Stapelton was overshadowed but his role was more meticulous and thought out, very much like the Queen in "300". The two pull the opposite sides of a war story firmly together. Not to mention how smoking hot both of them are.
Like the first, "Rise of an Empire" is undoubtedly clothed in beauty, from the moonlighting to the muscled bodies, the supple breasts to the eloquent sprays of blood, the film is about an aesthetic which is part of the story. Is it masking a lack of story? definitely not, it is the story.
"300" was ground breaking at the time of release, "Rise of an Empire" merely perfects that first step into a world of a different, and maybe more enigmatic, way of story telling. 7.5/10
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