Eight years after it’s predecessor comes the Gerard Butler-less sequel to the epic 300, and with a little less gore and a little more dialog.
Rise of an Empire isn’t really a sequel though; it’s more of a prequel, explaining everything that lead up to what we saw in the first movie, then showing what happened after King Leonidas and his 300 men died. So it basically completes the story’s start and end, because we just saw the middle in the first movie.
There’s a lot more narrative vs gore in Rise of an Empire, which took a way from the visual effects- there’s too much dialog in comparison to 300. It was almost made idiot-proof, so those who aren’t familiar with the graphic novels or even Greek history and mythology are able to understand what’s going on. And although I expected the story to revolve around Xerxes, you hardly see him in the movie. It’s all about Artemisia. And she is evil. Eva Green put on a spectacular performance as Artemisia (if you saw her in the short-lived TV show Camelot, you’d expect nothing less), and was the only character that really made the movie worth watching. Without King Leonidas and the infamous cry of ‘SPARTAAAAAA’ (‘Greeeece!’ doesn’t have the same ring to it), and the constant narration, the movie kind of loses its luster.
If there’s anything you should learn from this film though it’s this: never underestimate a woman (especially an angry one).
Rating: I give it 3.5 Oi’s out of 5.