Excerpt: The virtue of the Athenians seems almost quaint alongside the consummate badassery of the Spartans, and so this sequel/prequel lacks the testosterone overload of its predecessor. Stylistically, it is similar, with its lengthy, uninterrupted shots of violent variable-speed action. The bigger budget and seven years of advances in special effects are also evident in the more ambitious scale of it all.
Excerpt: In 2006 a little movie based off a graphic novel hit theaters. It starred a then very unknown Gerard Butler and the movie was called, simply 300 . History buffs will know the number as the battle of King Leonidas and his 300 men as they fought the Persians at Thermopylae. This ill-fated battle was a visual feast for the eyes and employed some visual effects that have set a new standard in films today.
Summary: When 300 came out, I was wowed by a lot of the visuals because they made the film feel like it was part of something exciting and distinct. (Or at least a less gritty and more classical realization of Sin City , another Frank Miller adaptation that had come out two years earlier.) However, I actually didn’t much care for 300 as a complete, satisfying movie.
Conclusion: 300: Rise of an Empire isn't as disarmingly awful as its predecessor, but it still doesn't make a strong case for this brand of extremely violent action film to exist. Warner's Blu-ray 3D combo pack offers dazzling picture, even better sound, and over an hour of substantial bonus features. Nonetheless, that only goes so far when the movie is too shallow and gory to recommend.
Conclusion: Despite being stylishly identical to Zack Snyder's wildly imaginative adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel, '300: Rise of an Empire' is a passably entertaining follow-up that neither complements nor augments its predecessor. Other than for the visual design, the film's only genuine highlight is Eva Green's deliciously evil performance as the film's seductive villainess.
Conclusion: It's never a good sign for a "sequel" when it makes you question if you actually liked the original. Such is the case with 300: Rise of an Empire , which is so similar to the original, yet so perceptibly flawed, to the point where it reflects negatively on 300 . A sub-par copy of Snyder's visuals is paired with some of the most repetitive battle action cinema has seen (as well as too many speeches) to create a serious let-down.
Excerpt: As Leonidas stood with his Spartans to slash at Persians in 300 , Themistokles stood with his farm bred Greeks to pierce their rival army at sea. At least, that story proves enough fuel to spend $100 million recapturing the quarts of spilled digital blood and dynamic aesthetic for Rise of an Empire to exist. 300’s events take place in the middle of Empire , creating a sequel which is both prequel and sequel.
Conclusion: 300: Rise of an Empire seemed to get mixed reviews critically. Personally, I think everyone’s expectations were a little too high. I know mine were, but Eva Green takes command here and never lets you go. I couldn’t help having a grand time with this. Like the first Transformers and its sequels (as sucky as they were), this one’s not as iconic as the first film, but unless you’re Empire Strikes Back or Terminator 2 , that’s a tough mountain to climb.
Conclusion: 300: Rise of an Empire doesn't live up to the memory of Leonidas or the boldness of 300 , but it's a suitably entertaining sequel, so long as you don't mind Big Dumb Fun invading the second chapter of Snyder's soon to be three-picture saga. The Blu-ray edition knows how to handle itself in battle, though, and brings with it an absolutely stunning video presentation, terrific 3D experience and intimidating DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track, as well as a solid...