Dalton’s Cinema Spot- 300: Rise of an Empire

Daltons Cinema Spot- 300: Rise of an Empire

R, 102 minutes
Starring- Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Heady
2.5/5 Stars

Being a fan of 2006’s 300 (4/5 stars), I was excited for seeing the sequel, even though I felt it was largely an unnecessary add on to an already impressive film. Alas, I was sadly right, mostly. Rise takes place before, during, and after the events of 300 and follows the Athenian General Themistokles (Stapleton) and his fledgling army of Athenian fighters as they battle the massive Persian navy, lead by the evil siren and ruthless fighter Artemisia (Green).

300 was a visionary masterpiece of outstanding cinematography, editing, and a deep resonating underdog, carnage filled story that tantalized the eyes and kept you on the edge of your seat through the viewing. Rise, is a bit less so. The visuals are reminiscent of those from it’s predecessor, but strangely it feels listless. The water visuals are impressive yes and there are some decent thrills, but there’s too much a feeling of, “Been there done that” that reigns throughout.

The story itself is silly and surprisingly over complicated. I am not seeing a gladiator genre, slow motion, smorgasbord of blood, violence, and homo-eroticism filled movie for it to become swamped and slowed down by forced scenes of wooden political debates. The silver lining on the still visually appealing movie is the singular performance by Green, who brings a captivating villain to the stage, while having a blast playing the baddie. The same cannot be said to the replacement of the snarling Gerald Butler with the bland performance by Stapleton as the protagonist, Themistokles. After so many misfires in recent movies, it’s strange that I actually left the theater wishing for more Gerald Butler.

Was this movie unnecessary? Absolutely. Did I have fun watching it? Eh. But the times I did enjoy myself watching the film were thanks to it’s scale and scene stealing performance by Green. 300: Rise of an Empire never really rises to the occasion.