300: Rise of an Empire

 

Zack Snyder’s 300 was one of the more influential films of the last decade. It laid the template for the ultimate stirring depiction of a band of men, grimly fighting on to their last. Eight years on, the sequel is finally here. With an all new star cast and another massive battle on the anvil, the anticipation is palpable.

 

STARRING:
Sullivan Stapleton
Eva Green
Lena Headey
Hans Matheson
Rodrigo Santoro

 

DIRECTOR:
Noam Murro

 

DATE OF RELEASE:
7th March, 2014

 

RUNNING TIME:
102 minutes

 

The first 300 was based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller and the second one follows from one of his later works. The film is in essence, a stylized showing of a battle that was occuring at the same time as Gerard Butler and his 299 cohorts’ last stand.

 

The film deals with what is know known as the Battle of Salamis, a conflict between the Greeks and the Persian navy where again the Greeks are hopelessly outnumbered. Marshalled by Themistocles, the Greeks do what men in fantasy war films do so well. Cut their enemies up and inundate the viewer with fountains of blood. The story is not much to speak about, even though it probably has more of one than the original 300.

 

The characters are engaging and inane in turns, and 3D seems to be the true star judging from the importance it is accorded. The cast includes the Australian Sullivan Stapleton as Themistocles, most famous for his starring role in Strike Back. His macho act is replete with bravado infused declarations and other formulaic baying for enemy blood characteristics. Eva Green as Artemisis, the Persian naval commander does a fair enough job of balancing her allure with a fair share of pure nastiness. Some of her scenes seem overdone but are still better than the rest of the film.

 

The cherishing of a battle may be an apt subject for a film, but seldom has it felt so repetitive and well, almost boring. There seems to be this upward trend in Hollywood that seems to believe that being macho, or rivers of blood, or destruction of cities can be good enough to justify the film on its own. Needless to say, I strongly disagree. But then there is no denying that there are a sizeable number of people who appreciate such movies. And in grudging acceptance, I see why too.

 

If it’s mindless and gory violence you like, then it is what you shall get in 300: Rise of an Empire. One of the few things that the director Noam Murro seems to have gotten right is the length of the film. At just over a 100 minutes, it is not long enough to make you want to show the Greeks and the Persian what an actual fountain of blood looks like.

 

 

 

 

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