Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 42%, 4.9/10
Audience Rating: 66%, 7.4/10
Shadow’s Rating: 7/10– Not 300 quality but a good violent, sword and sandals movie that actually expands on the 2nd Persian invasion of Greece. It is rather predictable though and really doesn’t bring anything new to the table other than old school naval battles
Plot in a Nutshell… 300 with Athenians instead of bad ass Spartans, on water instead of on land, Themistocles instead of Leonidas + lots of slow motion action.
– Let’s get the obvious out of the way: this movie is not better than 300. Stunning I know… 300 is only one of the greatest action, sword and sandles movies ever. It also redefined action (there wasn’t that sort of slow mo stuff before hand) scenes in movies. Also, the main lead in 300, Leonidas and the other Spartans, were much more memorable than the main guys in Rise of an Empire. They just had an onscreen presence that wasn’t matched.
But once again… 300 is fucking epic beyond epic. Not matching up to “epic” does not equal bad. This was a very good, very fun movie… just not God Status epic.
– This is not really a sequel. It is mostly a “happening at the same time” like the actual history. There is a little bit of prequel, a lot of “happening at the same time,” and a decent amount of sequel to 300 in this. What does make this is sequel is that you HAVE to see 300 before see things or it really won’t make much since. You will miss a lot of the little things and I would imagine the movie would lose a lot of its impact. I would recommend re-watching 300 right before seeing it so you don’t miss anything… unless you are like me and have seen it so many times you have it memorized.
– Themistocles was not nearly as… verbose as Leonidas but he definitely becomes a contender of “bad ass of the year” award. Dude laid waste to numerous Persian and showed himself to be the supreme commander of the seas.
– Other than Themistocles, none of the other Athenians were memorable or useful at all. You had the “kinda pussy second in command,” you had the “dad and son” and then… errr… that is pretty much it. 300 had the same type of characters but they felt more… real for lack of a better word. You actually cared when they died. I didn’t care about anyone but Themistocles on the Athens side.
– Xerxes was not in this nearly enough. It was really about Artesmia chick as the big bad guy, not Xerxes. And she was… well… ok? Everyone on the interwebz seems to love her character but I thought it was rather generic. She was a mean son of a bitch though.
– I LOVED the fact that the Athens army looked so… pathetic compared to the Spartans. I mean physically. I thought at first the movie just got lazy, but when they went to Sparta and you saw the typical ripped, physically superior people… you realized they did it on purpose. Athens was not a warrior state like Sparta so the soldiers would look different. Nice touch for the movie IMO. And they really contrasted on the differences between Sparta and Athens (and the rest of Greece) and how brutal their warrior society was.
– So… the action. Plentiful as expected. A ton of the slow mo that 300 was known for which was expected (although I still think 300 did it better). A TON of blood… like lots of it. Somewhat expected but some of the close up shots and some of the… gore was like over the top. Like the guy was trying to differentiate himself from Snyder a bit so he went the MOAR BLOOD AND GORE route. Not saying it was bad, just saying its there.
– This movie was heavy into the naval battle, which is cool since it differentiated itself from 300 and other sword and sandal movies that way. Lots of ramming and naval tactics. But still of course… a lot of “boats get together… time to jump on their and slice’em up!”
– They did try and add more to the story then “Greece vs Persia.” There was a lot of stuff, mostly from Themistocles end, about unifying Greece as one nation instead of a bunch of city states. But really… you went for the action. This is all a back drop for the action lol.
– There is definitely going to be a third one by the way. This isn’t over.
– I may like this movie more than I should because there hasn’t been a halfway decent movie since December.
Thoughts Full of Spoilers after the Jump…
– I read something somewhere which stated that the actions in this movie by Themosticles almost makes what the 300 did irrelevant and makes Sparta come off as an ass. And I am not sure I agree with that really. Leonidas went to the hot gates thinking they would die… he pretty much said so during the point where it was narrated that he thought he might actually be able to win. Leonidas also had the chance to kill Xerxes (similar to Themosticles killing Darius) but decided to wound him instead to show him that he was no God. Leonidas’s whole point to going to the hot gates was basically a “Fuck you Persia, your shit ends here… there are free men here not slaves.” And he accomplished that… he made them into martyr’s and got the Spartan army involved to protect Sparta. That paragraph kinda kept going and I am not sure it makes sense.
– If you are a historian whatsoever… this movie might make you blow your brains out. The battle of Marathan, the death of Darius, the Battle at Salamis… holy moly they changed a lot lol. And LOL at the queen of Sparta being a ruler (hint, they had two kings at all times) and LOL at her leading into battle. It barely even resembles the real history.
– When Themistocles walked out all slow and just front kicked that dude… oh LAWD… bad ass alert.
– Raise your hand if you didn’t see the Spartan’s coming to help in the end… now smack yourself because you are dumb.
– The boss fight at the end was… not bad. Not the best but not bad.
– If they were planning on makign a third one, they REALLY should have made another memorable Spartan to help carry the third movie.
– I wonder if they will actually kill Xerxes in the next one. In the history, after Salamis, he pulled most of his army/navy out and most died of disease on the way back. I think there was one more battle but I don’t remember for sure. The third one will definitely have Greece “unite” as a whole but… this doesn’t seem like a type of movie to spend too much time on that lol