Film | 300: Rise of an Empire – more parody than sequel

Image: Warner Bros.

The first 300 movie was a camp but awesome film with Gerard Butler’s King Leonidas coming out with some of cinema’s coolest phrases while he and his men armed with big abs and spears killed thousands of Persians in ferocious, bloody combat.

This follow-up though, is a head-bangingly unadorned, overblown piece of pomp. This ‘sort of’ sequel has the Greek general Themistokles attempting to unite Greece to fight against the evil Persians. He comes up against two major foes, one the narcissistic, God King Xerxes, with a golden body, and gold amulets and war paint to match. The second is Artemesia, the sexy but psychopathic and bellicose commander of the Persian navy with many Lady Macbeth and Cleopatra type qualities to her.

The script lacks the wit that held its predecessor together. The violence is as gory with the digital blood, but the dialogue can make you laugh, not ha-ha laugh, but laugh as in “That’s just ridiculous.” It’s tasteless, with so much vulgarity, that you could watch the original 300, and think, what on earth have they done?

There’s no point scripting such discourse like “you’ve come a long way to stroke your cock while watching real men train” to titillate the masculine audience. Nor was there any reason to put a sex scene in for the same reason. Who has sex with their sworn enemy the night before they go into battle against each other? Well, I could imagine something like that happening. You know, you pleasure one another as a token of respect to the gods and then the next day, if you happen to be killed, the gods may look kindly on you.

Despite the scale of the slaughter and large battles that take place between the Persians and Greeks, it’s no epic. Carnage comes aplenty, but it’s quite astonishing how insipid the film is. It’s more parody than sequel.

Harry Wise

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