The sequel to the very popular Zack Snyder movie 300 fails to live up to the epicness of the original, but shows of some amazing battle sequences.
Everyone remembers 300. One of the few good films Zack Snyder managed to do in his career. The brave fictionalized retelling of the brave King Leonidas of Sparta and his 300 men who was butchered in the Battle of Thermopyles in the Persian Wars. Based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller. The mastermind behind Sin City. In 2014 most of the cast that survived came back to do a sequel and the result was Rise of an Empire.
Let us start off talking about some acting. Sulivan Stapleton plays Themosticles. An Athenian trying to unite the city states of Greece under one banner to battle the Persians who is being led by Artemisia. Played by Eva Green in one of her finest acting roles of her career. Lena Heady returns as Leonidas widow Queen Gorgo. The lead actors does a pretty good job and the chemistry between Stapleton and Green is nothing short but amazing.
Eva Green really steals the show here. Artemisia is a cunning manipulative warrior who snares and hates herself almost a much as she hates the Greeks. She does some amazing fighting scenes and completely steals the show.
Now let`s address the directing. Noam Murro is a director I will admit I have never heard of before. But the directing is not very good. The first reason is that the script is very weak and there is a lack of creativity. The movie is 102 minutes long and the plot never moves forward.
The cinematography is done by Simon Duggan, and he really knows how to frame gorgeous action sequences. Previously he has done Mel Gibsons Apocalypto and Hacksaw Ridge. The action and gory violence is something it is important to address here. The movie is incredibly violent, way more violent than 300 was. As I have stated before, violence in movies can be very good when it serves a narrative purpose, and it does. The brutal action scenes are Rise of an Empires strongest card, and the reason why this movie is not a complete disaster. The action scenes are amazingly well choreographed and seeing limbs blood and intestines fly across the screen is strangely satisfied.
The 3D effects being done to create the big battles are something worth taking our hats of for. The visual effect crew has really managed to make an incredibly beautiful movie to look at. It is a battle taking place on the sea and the sea is painted with the blood of Spartas enemies.
The soundtrack is done by Junkie XL and he really manages to make a pretty cool theme for a very mediocre movie.
300: Rise of an Empire does not manage to thrill me as much as the original did back in 2006, and not having Zack Snyder directing it may be the big reason. Snyder is currently busy ruining the DC Multiverse but he really knows how to make beautiful violent gore. His writing is as awful as ever, as this script proves. This so-called excuse of a director in Noam Murro does not, and the result is strangely forgettable. At least there are some nice battles and Eva Greens spectacular acting to look at.