“300: Rise of an Empire” has plenty of blood and action and that’s about it


Greek men are not the only ones fighting a war for full of blood and vengeance. The women of “300: Rise of an Empire” are just as skilled and powerful in this overly dramatic side-quel (both prequel and sequel).

Taking place before, during and after the events in the first film, “300: Rise of an Empire” shows the backstory of how the god-king Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) came into power and waged war against Greece.

After defeating the Persian king during the first invasion 10 years earlier at the Battle of Marathon, the legendary Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) now leads the Athenian navy againsts the skills and power of the Persian navy, who have come back for vengeance. While Xerxes lead his troops over land and towards Sparta and Athens, the beautiful and fearless Artemisia (Eva Green) commands her Persian fleet of ships to destroy the Athenians.

As the movie progresses, Themistocles struggles to recruit the other city-states of Greece to join the fight, as news spreads that the mighty 300 have fallen at Thermopylae (the Hot Gates). While important to the plot development in the second half of the 102 minute movie, this was the slowest and also the most confusing part of the film, as it cuts back and forth between events that are happening simultaneously in this film with the battles in the the original “300.”

But the Spartan’s sacrifice unites the country and makes for an epic battle at sea.

“300: Rise of an Empire” may not have the best emotional scenes but it does have the same sweet style that made “300” so iconic.

Lovers of Spartan warriors will not be disappointed with the Athenian warriors who not only have great six-packs but also know how to fight on land and sea. Don’t worry if you have never seen the first “300” (even though it came out eight years ago) “300: Rise of an Empire” does a good job catching you up on the events from the first film.

As much as I love the brave 300 and the Athenians who fought bravely for Greece, I was totally rooting for Artemisia at one point in the movie.

It was so great seeing a powerful and smart woman in a commanding position. Sure, she was a little cray-cray but she was awesome. She took no BS from any of her generals who failed to win her a victory at sea. She manipulated Xerxes from the start so she could have her victory over the Greeks as vengeance for what they did to her family.

But Artemisia isn’t the only tough woman looking for vengeance. Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) may be in mourning but you can bet, as a true Spartan woman, she won’t be out of the battle for long.

You may not wish to see it in 3D, but I did and it was totally worth it. The blood from the battle scenes just washes over you and you can almost feel the salt water during the naval battle scenes. That and the constant flying embers or ocean mist in the foreground was just really well done in 3D and encased you in the movie.

With “300” we saw the best land fighting sequences with the Spartans. In this movie we get to see the power of the Greek navy and the wits and tactical knowledge of Themistocles.

The battles were not a let down. The slow-motion style paired with grotesque amounts of blood is what this film is all about. But if gross battle wounds and occasional rough sex (including rape) make you uncomfortable, you may want to skip this movie until you can faster forward those parts on the DVD.

In all I gave “300: Rise of an Empire” two and a half out of four Athenian ships. If you are looking for the same blood and violence that was in “300” then this movie is for you. But if you’re looking for a film with historical accuracy, come on, really?