300: Rise of an Empire (2014)

300 rise of an empire poster 2014 movie
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

Eva Green, interesting story weaving

More of the same

Movie Info

Movie Name:  300:  Rise of an Empire

Studio:  Legendary Pictures

Genre(s):  Comic Book/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  March 7, 2014

MPAA Rating:  R

300 rise of an empire xerxes reborn rodrigo santoro

That’s right, I’m a golden god…come at me, bro!

The Battle of Marathon leads to the death of King Darius by the hand of Themistocles of Athens (Sullivan Stapleton) and out of the ashes of his father, Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) rises…and is goaded by Artemisia (Eva Green) to carry on the war against Greece.  Themistocles works to raise an army to face the forces of Xerxes and tries to unify Greece in the process.  As the Spartans face heavy losses to Xerxes, Themistocles finds himself faced with the fleets of Artemisia…and loss could mean the fall of Greece!

Directed by Noam Murro, 300:  Rise of an Empire is a historic action-adventure film.  The movie is a sequel to the 2006 blockbuster 300.  The movie adapts the unpublished graphic novel Xerxes by Frank Miller and serves as a prequel and a sequel to 300.  The movie was met with mixed reviews and a strong box office return.

300 rise of an empire eva green kisses decapitated head

I only have boyfriends that don’t talk back!

300 was a solid and divisive movie.  Some loved the action and extreme visuals while others found it hollow and lifeless.  I liked 300…I didn’t love it, but I did find it was interesting and a unique bringing to life of a comic book that was different than other comic book movies popping up.  300:  Rise of an Empire solid follow-up…because it just feels like more of the same.

I do have to credit the movie for some of its storytelling.  The movie does a good job working around 300 by showing events leading up the battle, events just after the battle seen in the movie, and what happened as a result of the battle.  The framework story feels pretty complete, but some viewers might find it lacking.  It isn’t the most powerful telling, but it is kind of smart at points and does a good job working around obvious limitations since many of the actors who played Spartans in the first film did not return for this film.

I think Sullivan Stapleton doesn’t do as well as establishing himself as the lead in this film as Gerard Butler did in 300 despite his Greek “Scottish” accent, Leonidas was a much more rounded character.  I do like Eva Green as the psycho Artemisia even though she just mostly relies on damning stares and glares.  Unfortunately, both the creepy Xerxes played by Rodrigo Santoro and the grieving Queen Gorgo could have been played up more.  Plus, subplots involving other warriors did just clog up the story and didn’t really add much new to the script.

300 rise of an empire eva green vs sullivan stapleton themistocles artemisia

I call stalemate!

The visuals are still love-them or hate-them, but they do seem a bit more toned down from the first movie.  300 was a shock to the eyes, and other movies have followed it in style and look.  This leads 300:  Rise of an Empire to be a little less of a surprise visually and it loses the shock value of the first film.  It still is a lot of eye candy however.

300:  Rise of an Empire is a bit better than I expected but still not a great film.  If you were a fan of the first film, you probably will like the sequel, but if you were on the fence or hated the first film, this won’t make you like it any more.  It will be interesting to see with the success of this film how makers can squeeze out another sequel to keep the money flowing.

Related Links:

300 (2006)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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