While everyone is going wild over today's release of 300: Rise of an Empire, we take time to remember the original movie which came out back in 2006. 300 has become one of the most popular movies from the past few years. A combination of an army full of rock hard abs, combined with some superb action scenes has made 300 popular with both men and women.
Can '300: Rise of an Empire' live up to the original?
The movie is based on Frank Miller’s 1998 graphic comic series of the same name, which in turn are based on events from the Greco-Persian wars. The action from 300 is partly taken from the ancient historian Herodotus’ account of the Battle of Thermopylae which occurred in 480BC. The battle saw 300 Spartan soldiers attempt to prevent wider Persian invasion of Greece by blocking Thermopylae, a narrow coastal strip. The Spartans were led by their King, Leonidas (yup, Gerard Butler really existed!) and managed to hold off the Persian forces for two full days despite being grossly outnumbered. Herodotus claimed that it was a million Persian soliders up against just 300 Spartans, but it’s now estimated that it was more likely there were around 100-150,000. Herodotus was sort of an ancient screenwriter, even back then they were sensationalising stories!
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The way that 300 is shot definitely has something to do with the movie’s outstanding success. 300 was mostly filmed with a super-imposition chroma key technique, which helped give a similar effect to the images in the comic book. The effect is sharp and artistic, without seeming too packed full of special effects.
Eva Green in '300: Rise of an Empire'
300 is also brimming with some great and very memorable lines. Who hasn’t gotten a little bit carried away (/had a few too many to drink) and yelled ‘This. Is. Sparta!’ on more than one occasion? Other famous lines from the movie are actually rooted in historical texts. When the Persian army threaten to blot out the sun with their arrows and Michael Fassbender’s Stelios replies “Then we will fight in the shade”, this can be found in Herodotus’ Histories Book 7.226. Similarly, Queen Gorgo’s parting words to her husband “Come back with your shield or on it” can be found in 1st century AD historian Plutarch’s Moralia when he discusses sayings of Spartan women. It's funny how the most powerful lines in the movie were actually written 2000+ years ago, isn't it?!
Aside from us getting all excited over looking for classical accuracies, there’s also the matter of that sex scene. Although it may be a little too graphic to go into in any detail!
We love how 300 manages to mix in the mythological and historical aspects of Herodotus and Plutarch, while also staying true to it’s comic book roots! We hope that we’ll have as much to discuss about 300: Rise of an Empire once we’ve seen that too!
Has anyone seen 300: Rise of an Empire yet? What did you think? Does it live up to it's predecessor? Watch the trailer for the new movie right here.