‘300: Rise of an Empire’ or Meanwhile at the other battle site in Greece
Spoiler alert: That is if there really is anything that can be said to be a spoiler about a film as predictable as 300: Rise of an Empire. Fortunately, no one goes to this film expecting originality. They go expecting blood, gore, epic battle scenes and one scene of sex that includes the main actress’ boobs and vague superiority in some way.
300: Rise of an Empire delivers on all counts. You do not need to see 300 to understand the sequel. There is enough of a retelling of the first movie to make it clear what is going on. While Leonidas is defending Greece against the God King Xerxes, Themistokles, who killed Xerxes’ father but failed to kill Xerxes, is defending Greece against Artemisia.
Rise of an Empire parallels the basic plot points of 300. There is a political issue that is less pronounced. There is a father-son relationship that gets reversed. There is a narrator, Queen Gorgo, who is less annoying than the narrator in 300. Yes, there will be blood.
The opening battle is a ballet of blood and brutality. The film is more graphic than its predecessor, and features fewer monster men, which makes it more “realistic” in its graphic novel style.
Eva Green plays Artemisia, and she is one bad muth… Shut your mouth! Artemisia has no equal on her side of the battle. A Greek woman used as a sex slave who becomes the best commander in King Darius’ army and raises Xerxes to a God King might have a hard time finding someone who can match her battle skills both for strategy and one-on-one.
Artemisia finds her equal in Themistokles. She invites him over to her barge where she tries to convince him with logic and sex to come over to her side. In the scene, her shirt comes off, they mess around in a mock sex fight, and when Themistokles refuses her offer she kicks him off her barge. In the original, it was Lena Heady who used sex to motivate her husband to do what he was supposed to do.
Both Artemisia and Queen Gorgo, whose role is relatively small, fight better than almost all of the men. It was nice to see the queen find her warrior side in the nick of time.
300: Rise of an Empire is worth seeing if you liked the original. Plus, it may help to answer any questions you may have about whether or not a horse on a ship is actually an asset in battle and why exactly Poseidon is considered the father of horses in Greek mythology.
Watch the original on Amazon
See Romney's Review of 300: Rise of an Empire