Ror Reviews: 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE

Noam Murro's follow up to Zack Snyder's sword 'n sandals gorefest hits theaters this weekend. Does it match up to the original? Or is it more Meet The Spartans than 300? Find out what I thought after the jump.

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By Mark "RorMachine" Cassidy - 3/6/2014
Lets be honest; nobody really gave a damn if we ever got a sequel to Zack Snyder's 300 or not. Even the biggest fans of that highly entertaining flick realized it was a self contained story, and any follow up would be pretty much redundant. Having said that, there was always the possibility that we'd at least get a halfway decent action flick with a few cheap thrills, and when the first trailer was released a collective "oh, that doesn't look that bad actually" echoed around the interwebs.

I agree - it didn't. But I'm sorry to report, it is.



The narrative is actually structured so the movie works (or at least, is supposed to work) as a prequel, a side-sequel, and a sequel to 300. We begin before the events of the first movie, with Greek general Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton..instantly forgettable) taking out Xerxes' (Rodrigo Santoro) father Darius - an event the future God-king witnesses. From there we see a few naval skirmishes that're supposed to be happening around the same time as the battle of Thermopylae, and things culminate in one final epic clash which occurs after Leonidas' and his brave 300 have perished.

It's certainly ambitious, and the action scenes are well handled by director Noam Murro, but ultimately everything just gets too repetitive. Love him or hate him, when Snyder made 300 the slow motion battle scenes and OTT digital blood splatter were fresh and stylish..even if it was at the expense of a bit of substance. But here Murro tediously attempts to outdo him, almost to the point of parody (yes, Meet The Spartans did come to mind). It doesn't help that our heroes are a boring, shouty bunch of cardboard cutouts. Gerard Butler and co. may not have been what you'd call well rounded characters, but enough was done to ensure we at least gave half a damn what happened to them; and there was also a sense of humor to go along with the silly macho camaraderie. Not here. There's Themistocles, who screeches unintentionally hilarious "rousing" speeches to his men. There's his mate with the beard who we remember because he speaks a few lines; and then there's the other guy with the beard and his battle-hungry son, who we also remember because...they say some words. These guys are so superfluous that even the movie forgets to show us what happens to some of them.

Thank Zeus then, for Eva Green’s Artemisia. The French actress is frequently the highlight of every movie she appears in, and it's no different in this one. Her character is a villain - a particularly ruthless, bloodthirsty one at that - but she's so damn entertaining that you'll probably find yourself rooting for her over her male stripper enemies. Green is responsible for pretty much every memorable moment in this movie (you'll have to see the angry sex scene to believe it), and is missed whenever she's off-screen.

300: Rise Of An Empire is saved from one-star ignominy by a smattering of inventive action, a sex scene for the ages, and of course, Miss Green - but it's a mess in pretty much every other respect. I looked at my watch twice during a 90-minute movie full of blood, boobs and battles. Says it all really.

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158 Comments
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THEDARKKNIGHT1939 - 3/6/2014, 5:41 PM
Great review. Yeah, wasn't expecting much from this
MileyAbominationClone - 3/6/2014, 5:41 PM
Maybe you needed to have a couple of drinks before seeing it?
Nomis - 3/6/2014, 5:41 PM
As I said when they first announced this movie...Some movie just don't need a sequel.
bobevanz - 3/6/2014, 5:44 PM
Damn I was gonna see it tomorrow. The first was OK but I really didn't have that high of expectations
Nomis - 3/6/2014, 5:45 PM
There's his mate with the beard ...

LOL! This line has a whole different meaning here in the States. :)
Pasto - 3/6/2014, 5:46 PM
Ror is like my Harvey Dent, post arse face exploitation.
Ghostt - 3/6/2014, 5:46 PM
Dang, I was hoping for a 300 with substance. I'm too damn naive. Oh well, bet it's SHINY
SuperCat - 3/6/2014, 5:48 PM
Damn. Two stars? Guess I'll be seeing this on TNT after all.
Poolio - 3/6/2014, 5:58 PM
Strange...I mean Richard Roeper of all people gave it an A-
McGee - 3/6/2014, 6:01 PM
McGee - 3/6/2014, 6:01 PM
Wait....boobs?

And a sex scene for the ages that also have boobs?


McGee - 3/6/2014, 6:03 PM
I'm going right now.


....and I'll be coming during the sex scene with boobs.

Starfox - 3/6/2014, 6:04 PM
Still the Best thing to see this weekend so I'll check it out.
JoeMomma29 - 3/6/2014, 6:05 PM
Sorry I choose not to listen to personal opinions, I will watch this to see if it is garbage myself. Bunch of sheep........... though Gusto is a OLD GOAT!!!!!
patrat18 - 3/6/2014, 6:07 PM
I'm still gonna watch it.
McGee - 3/6/2014, 6:08 PM
....I'm pretty sure Ror is probably right. When I saw the trailer (with memories of the first film in the back of my mind), I didn't say to myself "WOW! I BET THIS WINS AN OSCAR FOR BEST PICTURE!"
McGee - 3/6/2014, 6:09 PM
Plus he hit the nail on the head with how cheesy the dramatic moments of Pacific Rim were.
feedonatreefrog - 3/6/2014, 6:09 PM
Richard Roeper gave it an A-

Very interesting to see the different reactions.
marvel72 - 3/6/2014, 6:11 PM
boobs & blood,sounds like my kind of movie.
eleven59 - 3/6/2014, 6:12 PM
Is it wrong to want Eva for Amora now....??
Brainiac13 - 3/6/2014, 6:12 PM
Ychiyicyucyihuyxtxyivu vycyi iytxtucgi tuxtucyivuu jibibi

Zzzzzzźzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

grifdeadpoolteabag - 3/6/2014, 6:16 PM
Yeah, all I really cared about hearing was Green getting her smash out on.
giannis - 3/6/2014, 6:22 PM
Loved the movie more than the first. I'm seeing it again this Saturday. I'm definitely gonna buy the Blu-ray the first day.


300 needed a sequel because the battle of Thermopylae was during the second Persian invasion. Rise of an Empire is about the battle that took place simultaneously with this at Thermopylae, Artemisium. And, when the Athenians learned that the Spartans were defeated, they retreated to Salamis and the battle there was the first Greek victory over the Persians.

I want this movie to do well at the box office, so they could make movies about the battles of Plataea and Mycale.
McGee - 3/6/2014, 6:23 PM
Brainiac3000 just came in his pants.
UltimateHunt - 3/6/2014, 6:26 PM
That trailer didnt look that bad. It look even better than 300 (visually and action scenes) but at the end I knew all along it wasnt going to top 300, not surprised at all, but did you saw it on 3D, Imax? Oil curious... im a 3D fanatico
UltimateHunt - 3/6/2014, 6:27 PM
Just*
SauronsBANE - 3/6/2014, 6:37 PM
Great review, Ror! Wilding would've proclaimed this as the most perfectest movie in the history of perfect movies, so thank you for giving an actual honest, critiquing review.

That said, this is basically the same sentiment I've seen in other reviews on other sites. Eva Green steals the show by just going all-out in her role (as opposed to the painfully boring main character, as much the actor's fault as the writers), the "sex scene" is one for the ages, and it's not quite as good as the previous film, which wasn't exactly an Oscar-winner either.

The problem comes with the fact that 300's visual style was just so unique and different, and countless other films have copied that style in the EIGHT YEARS since. This probably would've been better received 5 or 6 years ago, but now it's just redundant. Nothing is special about it anymore.
InfiniteMonkey - 3/6/2014, 6:37 PM
Blood Boobs and Battles.
All its missing is the alcohol!
thor2273 - 3/6/2014, 6:42 PM
Miamiheat - 3/6/2014, 6:53 PM
Once again a horrible opinion on a good flick! Never seem to amaze me your horrible reviews on big money making movies. We'll at least your consistent. Can't wait to see it
MantiniuMan - 3/6/2014, 7:07 PM
Well you did say Pacific Rim sucked so I will wait and see.
RorMachine - 3/6/2014, 7:10 PM
Miamiheat, Wait...you haven't even seen it?

lmao..that's getting comment of the day.
BANE5000 - 3/6/2014, 7:10 PM
U had me at " Eva Green...Angry Sex ", one can only dream thats how she is in real life :D
TheAstoundingMan - 3/6/2014, 7:11 PM
@Miamiheat

"Once again a horrible opinion on a good flick... Can't wait to see it"

Seriously?
blackandyellow - 3/6/2014, 7:13 PM
This movie has tits? DannyBoy will be appalled.
Stonewall - 3/6/2014, 7:15 PM
thanks Ror
Humperdink - 3/6/2014, 7:15 PM
One star more than i expected.
WYLEEJAY - 3/6/2014, 7:23 PM
@Miamiheat. LMFAO!!! I hope your joking......cause if your not you just said one of the dumbest things I may have ever heard on this site! You need to reread your last post. Lol
yonny616 - 3/6/2014, 7:28 PM
I'm still going to see it.

batz11 - 3/6/2014, 7:33 PM
Had me at angry sex...
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