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300: Rise of an Empire

By AP KRYZA
Say what you will about Zack Snyder’s ultraviolent, exceedingly homoerotic 2006 film 300, but the comic-book adaptation delivered exactly what it promised: It was big and dumb, with visual verve of unprecedented elegance (plus a lot of shouting). Eight years later, nobody was exactly clamoring for a sequel to a film that saw its main characters beheaded, yet here we have Noam Murro’s 300: Rise of an Empire, a film that expands the battlefield to the ocean but comes off as a dull, lifeless Xerox of the original. Eschewing most of the story in favor of non-stop carnage (which is probably the right call), Rise of an Empire pits Greek general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) against the Persian navy, led by the bloodthirsty and libidinous Artemisia (Eva Green). What unfolds is a cacophony of severed limbs, exploding bodies and CGI boats that look like they were pulled from an outdated 300 video game. The special effects are the biggest stars of the series, and yet nothing here manages to transport the viewer into the brutal wonderland Snyder concocted. Computer-animated blood spurts look like Play-Doh, the crashing waves of the ocean like something rendered for the GameCube. Eva Green, snarling and heaving, lends life to her scenes, but it’s like she’s in a different movie. For a film about half-naked dudes butchering each other for 100 minutes, Rise of an Empire is torturously lifeless.
 
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
  • Release Date: Friday, March 7, 2014
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • MPAA Rating: R [ A Sex Scene, Nudity, Some Language, Stylized Bloody Violence ]
  • Critic's Score: D+
  • Starring: Sullivan Stapleton [Themistokles], Rodrigo Santoro [Xerxes], Eva Green [Artemisia], Lena Headey [Gorgo], Hans Matheson [Aeskylos], David Wenham [Dilios], Igal Naor [King Darius], Callan Mulvey [Scyllias], Jack O'Connell [Calisto], Andrew Tiernan [Ephialtes], Andrew Pleavin [Daxos]
  • Directed by: Noam Murro [Director], Zack Snyder [Screenwriter], Kurt Johnstad [Screenwriter], Gianni Nunnari [Producer], Mark Canton [Producer], Zack Snyder [Producer], Deborah Snyder [Producer], Bernie Goldmann [Producer], Thomas Tull [Executive Producer], Frank Miller [Executive Producer], Stephen Jones [Executive Producer], Jon Jashni [Executive Producer], Simon Duggan [Cinematographer], Patrick Tatopoulos [Production Design], Wyatt Smith [Film Editor], David Brenner [Film Editor], Alexandra Byrne [Costume Designer], Junkie XL [Original Music]
  • Visit the Movie Website | Watch the trailer
 

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