Movie Review: 300: Rise Of An Empire

Jean-Paul’s Rating: 1/5 stars

Bottom Line: Look, it’s gratuitous,over the top blood and long-winded soliloquies with excessive use of slow motion.  Where have I seen this before?  Oh yeah, it was called “300”.

So there was this empire and it, like, rose or some junk?  The title of the film may be “Rise of an Empire”, but it’s not at all clear which empire is rising or how it is rising.  The movie ends very abruptly in the middle of a pitched battle which I’m assuming you are supposed to believe that the Greeks were going to win, but it’s not really clear.

A lot of “Rise of an Empire” plays exactly like the original “300” movie did.  Almost every scene is very stylistic and shot in high contrast so every ab and muscle and piercing and gush of blood shows in great detail.  It is kind of beautiful, but it’s also empty.  I enjoyed the original “300” for its stylistic elements, but a sequel just shows how shallow those stylistic elements are.  “300” was a one-trick pony and “Rise of an Empire” is the exact same pony performing the exact same trick only with a change of costume and a different script and on a boat.

I got suckered into watching this movie after seeing a preview featuring a pretty neat origin story of Xerxes.  I had assumed that we would see a more in-depth look at Xerxes the man-god in the movie itself.  Expecting depth from this movie, however, is like expecting a mosquito not to bite.  The preview turned out to contain 90% of all of Xerxes’ involvement in the movie.  The rest is just him standing around and looking big and beating up a girl.  This movie may hold the title for making the lamest man-god ever filmed.  What’s even more amazing is this movie was “based” off of the Frank Miller comic titled “Xerxes” and barely featured the dude.

The only interesting thought I had about the movie coming out of it was a chicken or the egg thought.  The final naval battle between Greece and Persia features a plan that is eerily similar to the Battle of Blackwater from “Game of Thrones” where all the boats perform a 40 car pileup and people start jumping on the boats from land and fighting.  I wonder if this movie ripped off George R. R. Martin or if George R. R. Martin ripped off Frank Miller or if there was actually a Greek battle that featured such an outrageous tactic and everyone ripped that off.

3 thoughts on “Movie Review: 300: Rise Of An Empire

  1. Chris

    While I haven’t seen the movie or read the SOFAI books enough to know the Battle of Blackwater, Greek ships were known to attempt to build a “boat-bridge” to allow soldiers from land to march across and continue fighting. There’s even a specific battle (I’d have to look it up to specifically name it) where the Greeks sneak attacked another nation because they built a boat-bridge across the Aegean Sea and were able to get to the rival nation’s capital months before the other nation thought they would and caught them completely unprepared.

    1. Jean-Paul Post author

      Building a bridge of boats and crossing it would at least be cool. This was more of a lure the enemy into a foggy inlet and have them all crash into boats that are spanning the inlet creating a huge pile up of Persian boats and then jump down from the cliffs on the side and fight instead of just throwing a bunch of torches down and watching them burn.

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