‘300: Rise Of An Empire’
Written by: Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad
Directed by: Noam Murro
Starring: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green
Story: The story of the ‘battle at sea’ undertaken by Greek general Themistokles as he takes charge against Persian mortal-turned-God Xerxes and their naval commander Artimisia.
‘Why is Themistokles speaking with an Australian accent?’ is one of the first thoughts that comes to mind when watching ‘300: Rise Of An Empire’. Those who have seen the first ‘300’ will remember Gerard Butler slashing his way through a blood bath of guts and glory for an exhilarating two hours. Anyone who expects the same thing when going into the highly anticipated sequel will be extremely disappointed.
Though not the most important part of any film in this franchise, the performances were almost painful to watch. As previously mentioned, Sullivan Stapleton switches in and out of his American and hometown Australian accent and Lena Headey seems to have lost any spark that she had in the first film. The only performance that is somewhat decent comes from Eva Green portraying Artimisia who may been the most viscous female villain we have ever seen on screen.
We may never understand why Zack Snyder decided against directing this sequel, but rest assured his talents are truly misplaced. Aside from missing his individual directorial style, the script is put together poorly: the dialogue is forced and the film is altogether boring. This would be the perfect film for anyone who wants to see 90 minutes of ‘Braveheart’-style speeches which in itself feels like three hours.
The real problem with this movie, though, is the 3D. We get the feeling here that Murro is truly out of his depth here, and not sure whether to stick to Snyder’s rule book of directing, or branch out on his own. He ends up doing neither. More than once you may find yourself thinking that this film would perhaps be just as impressive and perhaps more entertaining if in 2D: there is nothing here that really makes the most of the technology at it’s feet bar a few animated blood splats on the camera.
We perhaps would of appreciated, before watching this film, being told that the most gripping anf exciting action sequences are int he first half hour. With the persistent speak of the ‘battle to end all’, and the ‘death and destruction’ that awaits when they finally meet each other at sea, one is left feeling that this movie is perhaps the most anti-climactic of the last few years. The final battle, if we can call it that, is over in minutes (and yet somehow still wrought with painful quips and interactions between Themistokles and Artimisia).
All in all, ‘300: Rise Of An Empire’ is dull. Aside from a few enjoyable action sequences, all we really have here is forced dialogue, uncomfortable sex, and something that remotely resembles what was formerly known as ‘Sparta’.