By Jesus Figueroa
With the battle underway “300: Rise of an Empire” keeps the same graphic novel cinematic style of the prequel “300” but is bloodier and leaves audiences wanting more.
The storyline is simple and continues with the mythology of the 300 Spartans containing strong fight scenes and new characters. Not many films are produced with an R rating, but the menacing villains of this film could not have been made appealing without the over the top gore and bloodshed.
The film intertwines the story of “300” with the new tale of the Greeks going up against Xerxes, played by Rodrigo Santoro.
Santoro continues strong with his portrayal of the God king Xerxes. The performance matched the intensity of the first film but added a more human element to the character.
The Greek Themistocles, played by Sullivan Stapleton, gathers his troops and tries to unite Greece in hopes of face Xerxes, who with his massive army has come to Greece to conquer and enslave them.
Stapleton is good at matching up to the Persian warriors. His demeanor gives him a feel of wisdom and intelligence.Themistocles asks the aid of Spartan Queen Gorgo, played by Lena Heady, who refuses because she believe her husband Leonidas would triumph against the God king.
Heady is a fierce match for Stapleton’s wits as her beauty adds to the charisma of her character. Her prestigious look and voice gives the feel of royalty to her character.With a new threat, the Greek commander of Xerxes Navy Artemisia, played by Eva Green, Themistocles struggles to find a way to protect his people from the incoming threat.
Green is a conniving fierce beauty that matches wits and mettle with any opponent in her way. The determination in her eyes and embodiment of the character make her sexy, seductive but frightful as well.
While the beginning of the film incorporates cut scenes from the battle of the Spartans from the first film, the inclusion of naval battles brings forth a new element to the already magnificent style.
The violence is intense, as blood seems to be splattering everywhere constantly.
The story is left at a minimum as the battle scenes take up most of the screen time. The action drives the film with not much context other than it being a massive war.
The battles are creative and combine elements, which make them fun to watch. The onslaught of troop after troop being pummeled, tossed around and bloodily killed will have audiences glued to their seat.Creativity brings upon fun battle scenes that catch the audience off guard.
The ending comes with a less than satisfying conclusion that leaves audiences wanting more, which is the intended reaction as audiences will be left wanting a third installment to the “300” franchise.
“300: Rise of an empire” releases in 3D and 2D in select theaters and IMAX this Friday. The film is rated R for strong sustained sequences of stylized bloody violence throughout, a sex scene, nudity and some language.