Let’s be clear – you’re not here for the storyline. And even if you are, it can be summarised in three words ‘Athens versus Persia’.
Nonetheless Rise of an Empire is everything you’re looking for in a ‘300’ sequel. Based on Frank Miller’s latest graphic novel ‘Xerxes,’ and told in the breathtaking visual style of the original ‘300,’ ‘Rise of an Empire’ takes the action to a fresh battlefield — on the sea — as Greek general Themistokles attempts to unite all of Greece.
There is some overlap explanation between the films, but it’s clear from the start that Greece is facing another huge onslaught from the mighty Persia and their almighty God King Xerxes that could threaten their very existence. There’s some confusion as to the timeline but some background on Xerxes holds most of the film together. The legendary Xerxes is strikingly similar to Angelina Jolie in ‘Beowulf,’ in both his taste for revenge and golden skin tone.
The ‘Greek’ men have been appropriately dressed, waxed and painted for a conflict which spans some very dramatically impressive naval battles with all of the 3D CGI you’d expect from a ‘300’ sequel. The Athenian, Themistocles, leads the Greek states against the Persians with all the necessary heroic courage, sword handling, good looks and burden of responsibility. And the battlefield is brought to the bedroom with the introduction of a fighting female lead, played by Eva Green whose bloodlust is seemingly limitless. Themistocles manages to piss her off following a cringey love making scene which does neither party any favours, sexually or otherwise. And thank God they work out the rest of their issues in actual battle.
‘300: Rise of an Empire’ successfully incorporates all that is 300: blood, sex, violence, and it’s visually fantastic – a real rollercoaster of fun.
300: Rise of an Empire is in UK cinemas now