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.