If you're into all-out gruesome action epics, then 300: Rise of an Empire is for you
The U.K finally gets its hands on ‘300: Rise of an Empire’ this weekend; the sequel to ‘300’ and the latest film to be based on Mark Miller’s work in graphic novels and comic books. It takes place before, during and after the events of ‘300’, and sees original director Zack Snyder – who has helmed ‘Man of Steel’ since – return as producer.
Eva Green in '300: Rise of an Empire'
'300: Rise of an Empire' is tells an alternative version of Greek History under the second Persian invasion of Greece, focussing on Themistocles of Athens Sullivan Stapleton) and Artemisia I of Caria (Eva Green), as well as Xerxes I of Persia (Rodrigo Santoro), and Gorgo, Queen of Sparta.
The first clip in our set of '300: Rise of an Empire' videos sees the brave Themistokles launch a surprise attack with a relatively diminutive army of Athenian soldiers against the might of the Persian forces. The classic comic-book origins can be seen – as they were in the original – with the slow motion action unfolding amidst a backdrop of thunderstorms and mud, juxtaposed to the usual climes associated with ancient Greece.
It’s that cinematic embellishment that made the original '300' stand out from the crowd, even if the critics came to the conclusion that the plot was lacking somewhat. The reviews for '300’s' sequel follow a similar cadence, with the press keen to point out Rise of an Empire’s theatrical prowess; its ability to wow on a visceral, aesthetic level. But in terms of storytelling and characterisation, more is needed.
Lena Headley [L] and Sullivan Stapleton [R] in '300: Rise of an Empire'
Despite this, Eva Green’s performance has been lauded. Digital Spy say she “shines” as Artemisia, adding: “Rise of an Empire isn't without its highlights. Most notable is Eva Green's bat-s**t mad Artemisia, a villainess who chews the scenery so emphatically that there'd be teeth marks on the sets if they weren't all digital. She also gets one of the film's best lines: "You fight harder than you f**k" - the product of a loopy power-play sex scene.”
'300: Rise of an Empire' hits cinemas this weekend, and without any serious competition to rival it – Oscars season is very much over, with studios winding back the their bow strings to fire again in the lucrative summer/winter dates – there’s no reason why it won’t perform admirably enough for a third incarnation.
Rodrigo Santoro in '300: Rise of an Empire'