300: Rise of an Empire

"OK"

300: Rise of an Empire Review


Fans of the 2007 Spartan war romp 300 probably won't care that this spin-off is even more chaotic and much murkier to look at. It still features armies of scantily clad muscle men grunting idiotic declamatory dialogue as they charge into cartoon-style battles against all odds. No, this isn't particularly subtle filmmaking: it's loud and brutal. And good for an unintentional laugh.

At the same time as Spartan King Leonidas (a briefly glimpsed Gerard Butler) is leading his 300 men to battle against Xerses (Santoro), Greek General Themistocles (Stapleton) approaches Leonidas' wife Gorgo (Headey) for help facing Xerses vengeful military commander Artemisia (Green) on another front at sea. Themistocles' main officers are Aesyklos (Matheson) and Scyllias (Mulvey), whose son Calisto (O'Connell) secretly joins the army as they set sail for an epic ship-based battle against Artemisia's fearsome forces. And there are two more watery conflicts to come, each more outrageous than the one before, as Artemisia taunts Themistocles seductively while dispensing fiery death and destruction at every turn.

The addition of two strong women adds a bit of interest here, but the focus is still on the bare-chested men, even if only three or for of them actually emerge into proper characters. Headey's chief contribution is a rambling voiceover narration explaining everything for us, while Green's wry smirk and momentous glower let her steal every scene. By contrast, the men seem rather feeble. Stapleton is manly and commanding, but not hugely charismatic. Rising-star O'Connell barely gets two decent scenes. Santoro is hilariously grouchy eye candy. And everyone else is clearly expendable.

Working against digital backdrops with digital extras, new director Murro's oddest decision is to drain the movie of most colour. Everything is drab and grey, the blood is dark brownish, and the sun never quite breaks through the clouds. This makes the largely water-based action look eerily uninteresting, even when ramped up by relentless slow-motion and seasick shaky-cam. And the main 3D touch seems to be the addition of floating water drops, lint, soot, sparks and of course blood in every shot. But in the end, it's the limp plot and soggy fake-Shakespearean dialog that sinks the movie. Although fans of torso porn will be looking forward to another chapter.

Watch '300: Rise Of An Empire' Trailer

 



300: Rise of an Empire

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 102 mins

In Theaters: Friday 7th March 2014

Box Office USA: $106.6M

Box Office Worldwide: $331.2M

Budget: $110M

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Nimar Studios, Legendary Pictures, Hollywood Gang Productions, Atmosphere Entertainment MM, Warner Bros., Cruel & Unusual Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 42%
Fresh: 72 Rotten: 98

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Noam Murro

Producer: , Deborah Snyder, , , , Thomas Tull

Starring: as Themistocles, as Artemisia, as Queen Gorgo, as Scylias, as Dillios, as Xerxes, as Calisto, as Ephialtes, as General Bandari, Andrew Pleavin as Daxos, as Aesyklos, Igal Naor as King Darius, as Persian Emissary, Ben Turner as General Artaphernes, Christopher Boyer as Senator, Fred Ochs as Senator, Price Carson as Senator, John Michael Herndon as Senator, David Pevsner as Senator, Peter Ferdinando as Greek Ambassador

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.