300: Rise Of An Empire delivers on everything you’d expect from a sequel (or prequel) to the original 300: Stylistic, often slow-motion cinematography, graphic sound design, epic panoramic battle scenes across breathtaking – all be it CGI – scenery, tonnes of bloody violence and more six packs than George Best’s house on a Friday night. Unfortunately, it does nothing to develop on this and doesn’t show us anything new, making it just 300. Again.
In a nutshell, it’s basically one long fight. Not only does it not develop on the concept of the franchise, it virtually fails to develop on its own opening. It starts in the style we became familiar with in 300 with slow motion shots, exaggerated sound effects and a gravelly voice over – a style that was graphically imaginative and atmospherically original at the time – and maintains this level throughout, never building to a climax. The only thing that builds is Eva Green’s progressively elaborate string of gothic battle frocks. And with so little plot the style loses its magic.
Eva Green’s performance may be it’s only saving grace. Her icy cold intimidating stare makes her the perfect warrior ice-queen and without her the movie would probably have been totally flat. She deserves 10/10 for a performance that, after the first half hour, was the only thing that kept the film interesting.
Yes, there was no shortage of spectacularly photographed action – arguably too much – but spectacle should embellish plot, not compensate for the lack of it.
It’s tough to mention the script because there was so little there. The voice over occasionally proves interesting but this film relies so heavily on digital effects and stylised cinematography to provide the action, that the only thing the script could really offer here is a plot – which it does poorly.
As reviews go, this is short. But there isn’t much more to say. If you want to see 300 again, go watch 300 again. Rise of An Empire has little more to offer. It may be worth watching to see Eva Green’s warrior witch performance but other than that, spend your ticket money on something else.