Eva Green steals the show but can’t save regurgitated script.
My rating: 2 1/2 reels out of 5
300: Rise of an Empire contains some typical Hollywood mistakes you can make with a sequel. The first mistake was taking a good part of a decade to make a follow-up. The first 300 movie was 8 years ago. I can’t really think of a sequel that exceeded its predecessor that took more than 3 years to make after the initial movie (at least not any off the top of my head, feel free to provide examples). As an unwritten rule, if it has been more than 3 years since the previous movie than maybe a sequel wasn’t the best idea to begin with. The second mistake was basically rehashing the story of the first movie from a different perspective. I saw this movie a long time ago, except it was about the Spartans, now we are seeing the movie from the Athenian perspective. I was hoping for a united Greece versus the Persian army and the actual war but that’s not what we get. And the third mistake is taking what worked well in the first movie and beating our heads with it. Dramatic elements of the first movie are reused and slow-motion shots were really cool in the first movie, but it could’ve been used more sparingly. You get tired of slo-mo shots after the first five minutes. This movie could’ve been so much more but ultimately was disappointing.
When we last left ancient Greece in the first 300 movie, we were seeing a united Greece army marching to war against the Persians. If you were hoping to see such a battle, be prepared to be disappointed. The events in Rise of an Empire take place during the events of the first 300 movie, but from the Athenian perspective. Greek general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) must hold off the Persian navy commanded by the vengeful Artemisia (Eva Green). There are some plus sides to this movie and Eva Green was one of them, and not just because we see some revealing body parts of her. Her character had the most character development and depth. She was a villain that you could empathize for. The rest of the cast does a pretty good jobs themselves. The biggest part of this movie that suffers the most is the story.
The story suffers because it was something we had already seen, a small group of Greeks trying to hold off a large persian force. I personally wanted to see what took place after the Persian army marched into Greece. Maybe the filmmakers really wanted to focus on Artemisia, being the most interesting character in the movie. They did develop Xerxes a little bit more in this movie but it was to help develop Artemisia more as well.
The way I see it is an example of Hollywood not taking risks and feeding us what they think people would like to see. They seem to just take into account the newer movie goers rather than pleasing regular movie goers. It’s the reason why older films getting remade, and it’s the reason why sequels get made. With how well Rise of an Empire is doing in the box office, we could probably expect a sequel. Let’s hope it doesn’t take more than 8 years to make and let’s hope it’s not the same movie from another perspective. Rise of an Empire could’ve been a better movie, but instead we get more Hollywood regurgitation.
My expectations: Regular expectations that were not met.
Re-watch value: There’s probably only one part that anyone who loves Eva Green would watch again *wink wink*.
Recommendation: Go watch the first 300 movie instead.
Memorable: I’ll remember how much I was disappointed with this movie.