300: Rise of an Empire combined 3 things that I very much enjoy: shirtless men, powerful ladies and some good old bloody violence. That being said, if you’re looking for anything more than that then you’ve come to the wrong place.
Following up from 2006’s incredibly successful 300 that had frat boys everywhere screaming ‘SPARTANS, WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION?’ after a cocktail of cheap booze, the sequel follows the apparently legendary Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) and his dream of a united Greece facing up to the Persian army, commanded by eyeshadow goddess Artemisia (Eva Green) and ruled over by God-king Xerxes.
Complicated names aside, Rise of an Empire did not beat around the bush, throwing us straight into countless battles and bloodshed, played up by the staple graphic novel style camera work. This time, 3D really did pay off, the slow-mo shots alone are worthy of merit and there isn’t much more thrilling than having thick-as-chocolate-syrup blood flying towards your face. In amongst all this brutality Lena Headey’s cheesy voice-over was there to redirect you when you get too wound up staring at countless abs and Eva Green’s remarkable rack.
The film belongs to Eva Green’s Artemisia, completely un-restrained and brutal her habit for collecting severed heads (and kissing them in some cases) is that of Tarantino’s Aldo Raine & Nazi scalps. The unparalleled thirst for vengeance she displays carries the movie through it’s not so accurate plot and into new realms where everyone’s forgotten a shirt and has lines like ‘you’ve come a long way to stroke your cock while watching real men train‘. The dialogue is completely silly at times and consists largely of men screaming about honor but the action alone saves it from the dreary depths of the ocean it’s battleships sail.
All in all, Rise of an Empire is kinda like a night down the local pub, lots of angry shouting men and probably not that exciting until someone gets punched.