300: rise of an empire – aka three hundred and one

A little late on this one, a week to be exact. 300: Rise of an Empire is the sequel to 300. This time we follow the blue capes of Themistocles, played by Sullivan Stapleton, of Strike Back fame. This is quite the sequel, as it takes place before the aforementioned 300, during and after. Same gory violence, same stylized action, same bat chann… you get the idea.

The good; this sequel fits right in to the original two thousand seven movie. I was impressed, Noam Murro does a good job putting this film in to the slow mo action sequences, six pack abs, color de-saturation and hyper historical reality that we got to know in the first movie. I think what I’m more impressed by is the story… to have this sequel (to a movie I didn’t feel needed one) not only before the events of the first movie, but during and after was very nice.

Usually when films in a franchise have a different director(s) we get a different tone and take on the story that’s being told, but here we have a team that’s flowing well in this very specific world.

Eva Green‘s in this film, haha

I have to mention the action sequences, they’re greeeeeatttt! I know most of it was shot on green screen but they were very well done. The hand held quality didn’t go overboard, and there were wide shots… glorious wide shots. I could tell what was going on and where it was going on. This is how action scenes should be shot, and this is how green screened scenes should be done.

The bad; at the beginning of the third act we could’ve ended, but we have whole other action sequence to be had. And in that we have to set it up, and, build it up. This break in the non-stop action felt odd in its placement.

The action scenes, I know I put this above, but there are a lot of action scenes. Early on we get too many that end in victory, a little struggle to win might’ve been better.

Then there’s the historical accuracy, cause we all come to see this film for it’s historical accuracy. But some of the liberties taken with this film were very… well, liberal. At least it wasn’t as bad as Troy, sheesh. I kind of wish that they explained why Themistocles looked like a Spartan, when he was actually from Athens, usually the Athenians wear robes, just a little thing that could’ve been explained with a line or two, whatever.

Overall I was impressed with where this film fits in with this new franchise. And now knowing and seeing that… we’re going to get a third film. You have to go in to this movie knowing what it is – entertainment. And it delivers, check your brain and history knowledge at the door and eat that popcorn. Oh and the action scenes, did I mention the action scenes?? I feel like I didn’t mention the action scenes (stop saying ‘action scenes’).

Fade out-
Eugene

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