300: Rise of an Empire
Greek general Themistokles leads the charge against invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes and Artemisia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy.
A follow up to 300 probably wasn’t something I could say I was that excited about, but this is pretty good fun and keeps the spirit of the original alive whilst focusing on a different type of battle, mainly using ships. I’m a sucker for a good sea battle, and the sequences in this are very well done, stylish as we’ve come to expect, but also clear to follow and featuring some ingenious tactics on both sides. The story isn’t a prequel or a sequel per se, in the fact that it runs alongside the same timeline as 300, but whilst that focused on King Leonidas fighting against Xerxes, this switches the attention to Eva Green’s viperlike Artemisia, a Greek turned Persian brutal warrior, and Themistokles’s (Sullivan Stapleton) seasoned general. Eva Green is terrific fun, a vicious women focused entirely on vengeance, and her performance drives the story, whilst the stunning visuals and CGI bring the action to life.
The music is also incredibly good, particularly during the charged action sequences, and the use of Black Sabbath’s ‘War Pigs’ over the end credits (and in the trailer) is an inspired choice. This isn’t a film that’ll be for everyone, but if you liked the first ‘300’, this is more of the same.
Directed By: Noam Murro
Starring: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Rodrigo Santoro, Lena Headey, David Wenham, Hans Matheson, Callan Mulvey and Jack O’Connell