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300 Rise of an Empire, Improving on the Original in Almost Every Way

March 16, 2014

“300” ended at the perfect time for a sequel to come through with even bigger battles. Eva Green steals the show with her enthralling performance as Artemisia, the commander of Xerxes’ navy. She gets plenty of screen time and fights like a fiend. Sullivan Stapleton gives a solid performance as Themistocles, the leader of the Greek army. His clashes with Artemisia are quite fun. Fighting wise, things are pretty much the same, with the exception of the new naval battles. I found many of the bigger naval battles to be more interesting because we actually get to see strategy behind them rather than just a bunch of hand-to-hand combat.

There is plenty of time for multiple battles because “300 Rise of an Empire” doesn’t have to spend too much time on back-story. Sadly, Lena Headey still has a relatively minor part here, and we will probably have to wait for the inevitable third film to see her shine. While it is slightly disappointing that we don’t get to see full resolution in this new film, I am glad that the studio is taking enough time to flesh out all the different battles as much as they should be.

Musically, this film falls far behind the first. While Tyler Bates didn’t write the best or most original music for “300” at least his music elevated the film beyond what was on screen. Newcomer Junkie XL wrote a largely cheap sounding generic score heavy on percussion and middle-eastern vocals that lacks any central themes to keep it together. While it fits fine with what is on screen, a more accomplished composer would have been able to raise the film a bit higher. Most action is accompanied by repetitive drums. The orchestra sounds so bad that it might as well have been synthesized.

Like “300” before it, “300 Rise of an Empire” is a solid popcorn flick that delivers plenty of spectacle and demands to be seen on the big screen. I didn’t see it in 3D and I don’t recommend it because it was converted in post-production. If you enjoyed the power and blood of the first film, you will find a lot to love in this bigger sequel.


From → Comic-Book

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