Blood. Guts. Gore. 300: Rise of an Empire has plenty of this to go around. And chiseled men running around in nothing but capes and underwear. But I digress …
Upon watching the trailer for 300: Rise of an Empire, you’d get the impression that it’s the Spartans at it again, with King Leonidas’ wife and queen, Gorgo (Lena Headey), taking on the God-king Xerxes. Well, she does, but that is not what this movie is all about.
300: Rise of an Empire is not a continuation of the Spartan’s story, but tells the tale of Athens and the rest of Greeks. Xerxes and his revengeful and beautifully bitchy naval commander, Artemisia (Eva Green), are plotting their takeover of the sea surrounding Greece. Cue this flick’s main man Themiskoles, portrayed by relatively unknown Sullivan Stapleton. (Note that Gerard Butler was generally unknown before 300. Is this the beginning of a shining career for Stapleton? Only time will tell.)
But back to the blood and guts. Is 300: Rise of an Empire as good as the original? Not quite. Yes, there is plenty of battle scenes, full of angry Greek soldiers slaying Persians at sea. And like Leonidas, Themiskoles uses clever strategies in battle to gain an advantage over the enormous Persian navy. But what it was missing was the inspirational pre-battle speeches that Leonidas had in 300. Rise of an Empire had a little less heart than 300, and that’s what it missed. While Gorgo gives her men an inspiring speech, it just wasn’t enough.
300: Rise of an Empire pulled in just over $45 million at the box office during its opening weekend, and it’s really no surprise. If you loved 300, you’ll still like Rise of an Empire. I give it a Good.
You can keep up with Kara Evans via www.karaschatter.com and on Twitter @KaraEvs.