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300: Rise of an Empire(2014)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Noam Murro

Sullivan Stapleton/Themistokles
Eva Green/Artemisia
Lena Headey/Queen Gorgo
Hans Matheson/Aesyklos
8 10
In the left corner, Greek general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) and his humble army. In the right corner, the Persian forces led by hot-nut Artemisia (Eva Green) and some poseur, sissy God named Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro). Ding Ding! LET THE BLOOD SHED!
I was a huge fan of the original 300 (2006) but approached this sequel with some caution for two reasons: 1- Zach Snyder wasn't directing (although after seeing this one, you would think he did, Noam Murro aped his style to a T). 2- I knew it would be hard for anybody to beat Gerard Butler as the ultimate alpha male warrior. But I was put at ease the moment the opening battle kicked in and tossed a truckload of fighting, slashed limbs and blood splats my way, in all of its over stylized and “ramping” whoring glory! After that scene kicked my ass I thought: “If this movie can keep topping itself with the INSANE battles and has a a fairly engaging story, I'll be all good. And thankfully that”s exactly what happened, hence I WAS ALL GOOD!

300 Rise of an Empire was half parallel storyline to the original, half sequel and all bad ass! It slyly referenced the happenings in the first film and some of its characters returned (with Queen Gorgo played by the great Lena Headey being the highlight for me) while at the same time telling its own story. For me, the main reasons I wanted to see this movie was for the striking imagery, the kinetic shots, ridiculous amount of bloodshed and some uber well choreographed battles. And I got those IN SPADES! If you're looking for the meaning of life or a deep explorations of the human condition; you're knocking at the wrong f*cking door. If it's grisly eye candy that you're seeking, countless combat bits and gore goods that may have you drop a couple of “fuck me man, that was nuts” in your movie theatre seat; then you've come to the right place. I loved how this follow up gave me what I expected from a 300 sequel, but changed it up a tad. The original film was mostly about ground battles, this one took the sea highway, slinging out some impressive via vessels set pieces that wowed me and then some! Each bigger, badder and bloodier than the next! Oh yeah!

Acting wise; once I accepted the fact that Themistokles was gonna be a different type of warrior than Leonidas was; I was okay with Sullivan Stapleton in the role. He was more internal than Gerard Butler and not as iconic or feral looking (Butler was ripped beyond belief and tanned like crazy) but I got used to him and quickly found myself rooting for him. Dude was intense ! Lena Headey made the most of her minimum screen time and classed up the joint every time she popped up and Callan Mulvey was fun to watch as a pretty gung-ho warrior. I loved watching him fight! But at the end of the neck snap, this was Eva Green's show though and through. She stole the movie with her bold and no holds barred performance and went for and got the gold. She had the best one-liners (that I won't spoil here), she played to the camera like the pro that she is and the lens loved every inch of her. So did my eyes for that matter! Girl is hot! In fact, her out there “sex scene” with “I won't tell” was one for the books! Really, kudos Miss Green, kudos! I didn't know you had this kind of wild role in you! I have an all new respect for the lass. This was one of the most memorable female villains I've seen in ages! Tag to all that loving a gripping score by Junkie XL, an ever moving camera, with all kinds of wild shots, entrancing cinematography, potent "warrior speeches" and brilliant sound/production designs and you get a gleefully exploitive and over the top fun times at the movies!

Ay complaints? Well the story won't win any Awards. If you've seen one war movie, you'll be able to predict a lot of the turns here which were picked out of the war subgenre cliche pool. Didn't bother me much as I was too busy having my mind blown by the violence and the visual prowess-es the flick kept gunning my way, but it needed to be mentioned. Moreover, much like in the original film the Xerxes role played by the able Rodrigo Santoro got on my nerves and I couldn't take him seriously. His get-up cracked me up once again, right down to his overly padded crotch and he made for a weak tit villain. All bark, no bite! Get out of here! Finally, one action scene was a bit to CGI for my taste and it kind of took me out. It involved a horse – enough said!

All in all though; 300 Rise of an Empire filled my cup with zany visuals, insanely well choreographed fights scenes and buckets of blood! And I downed it all fervently! A perfect movie to go see with your buds after and before a couple of brews! “For glory's sake, war!
Are you kidding?! I think this one was even more violent than the first film. Sure it was overly stylized CG blood, but it still hit the spot within the film's heightened reality. Countless heads, legs, arms were chopped off, people were impaled and maimed all over the place! You will see red! LOTS OF IT!
T & A
I caught 4 pairs of titties with the highlight being Eva Green's topless scene. And yes they were as glorious as you think they would be!
300 Rise of an Empire gave me what I yearned from it and then some! Appealing heroes, an easy pace, gorgeous set designs/cinematography, expertly choreographed action set pieces, some biting dialogue, stand-out sound design, an AMAZINGLY EVIL Eva Green and gore, gore and gore! All set to the trippy sounds of Junkie XL at that! Granted the narrative was predictable, Xerxes still made for a sad sack baddie, Sullivan Stapleton did fine but lacked the gravitas of Gerard Butler and one action bit was a bit too over the top for me (horse), but hey those are peanuts compared to the visual feast and amount of “f*ck yeah” inducing moments this one treated me with. Yes, they still make movies for guys now and again: this was one of them! Count me in for another 300 sequel!
King Leonidas from 300 was in the original script but Gerard Butler, said no dice to reprising the role. What a shame. I guess he didn't want to hit he Gym again...

Eva Green revealed trained four hours a day with a group of stunt men for three months before the shoot. It showed girl! Props!

The film was based on Frank Miller's graphic novel "Xerxes".