Back in 2006 I saw 300 at the cinema with my college gang. It was the first time I'd seen anything like it, and I wasn't really looking forward to it either. Back then, if it didn't have Jim Carrey or Jennifer Aniston in, I wasn't interested. But I went along anyway, and do you know what? I loved it! So much so, that I can't believe I never saw 300: Rise of an Empire at the cinema.
Last Sunday I had a massive hangover, and I'd survived 2 nights with a total of 6 hours sleep. I'd had a catch up night with an old high school friend, and a night out on the town for another friend's birthday. Oh, and I was dog sitting that day too. I knew I needed something action packed just so that I wouldn't fall asleep right there in the sofa.
300: Rise of an Empire is a prequel, side story and sequel to the original, in a way. It tells the tale of Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) and his quest to unite Greece in the battle against the Persian army, led by the God King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and Artemisia (Eva Green).
Let me cut straight to the chase here, this isn't as good as the original, and although I thought Themistokles was a great main character, his allies are completely forgettable and pretty predictable.
However, if you sit back and let yourself enjoy this film for what it is, you'll be pleasantly surprised. The visuals were fantastic, and the choreography really shined through all of the slow motion parts of the action. I've never even heard of Sullivan Stapleton but I thought he did a fantastic job as the lead. Lena Headey's narration really tied things together, although sometimes there was just a bit too much. That may have been my hangover talking though.
There was also a very nicely done NSFT/NSFP/NSFD or indeed, not safe for anywhere but the sofa scene which was nothing but enjoyable. Trust me. ;-)
Oh and for anyone who's watched Starz's Spartacus TV Show, yay for that quick moment with our beloved Doctore, Oenomaus!
Overall, if you enjoyed 300 then give this a go if you haven't already, but if you were never keen on the original to begin with, then you may as well steer clear of this.