300: Rise of an Empire

Swords. Shields. Muscles. Beards. Shouting. Slo-mo. Muscles. Gore. SPARTA.

300 in a nutshell. Easy to replicate you might think. Not quite on this showing.

The straightforward and violent attitude of the Spartans perfectly suited the original 300 film and its strong sense of style. This belated sequel gives us less of what we really wanted and more of the things we didn’t need. There’s more blood (clumsily added by the bucket-load via CGI) but the battles aren’t as exciting despite the change from land to sea. More talking and fewer fantastical creatures shows a lack of flair.

Stapleton would have been a perfectly acceptable warrior had we not already seen the best Greece had to offer in Gerard Butler. Both had accents that didn’t fit the part in any way but Butler had a charisma and machismo that set him apart.

With the story taking place before, during and after the original story it was meant to be a chance to give us more whilst fleshing out the larger scale war between Greece and the advancing Persian armies led by Xerxes. Sounds OK on paper but all it points out is that the one group of people we’re interested in are dead. It also rather blatantly points out that Butler isn’t around by timing visits to the Spartans perfectly with the points in the original film where he was out and about.

You came here to see King Leonidas? Sorry he’s in the loo at the moment.

Two 2014 Frank Miller sequels. Two times I’ve expected something at least decent and two times I surprised myself by seeing too much of Eva Green. Sadly it’s also two times the sequels proved pointless.

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