300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE – THE REVIEW

THIS IS SPARTA!! Mostly on the water, very much the same, hot semi naked dudes, artistic filming, slow motion, blood, lots of blood, no Gerard Butler but more, much much more than the first 300. 300: Rise of an Empire is epic Roman/Greek bloodshed battle movie at its best. I bloody loved it, I may have even cheered 🙂 300:RISE OF AN EMPIRE is out tomorrow, Thursday 6th March, is rated MA15+ and runs for 102mins. Good mate and movie viewing partner, Sebby T and I hit up the Sydney Premiere on Monday night, great event, there was skirt wearing hot dudes with huge chests in the foyer :).

 

300, Rise of an Empire, Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey, Hans Matheson, David Wenham, Rodrigo Santoro, Igal Naor, Callan Mulvey, Jack O'Connell, Andrew Tiernan, Noam Murro, Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad, Frank Miller
300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW – Art Poster

 

Based on Frank Miller’s latest graphic novel Xerxes and told in the breathtaking visual style of the blockbuster “300,” this new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield-on-the-sea as Greek general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war. “300: Rise of an Empire” pits Themistokles against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), and Artemisia (Eva Green), vengeful commander of the Persian navy.

The film actually runs in conjunction to the first story and is taking place at pretty much the same time but in a different place. It is cleverly done and lends quite a few of the cast from the first film. Lena Heady, Rodrigo Santoro, the gimp thing and David Wenham are all back, but are not the leads. This one is with Themistokles and his merry men as he spends his entire time battling the sister of Xerxes, Artemisia (Eva Green – Casino Royale, Dark Shadows).

 

300, Rise of an Empire, Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey, Hans Matheson, David Wenham, Rodrigo Santoro, Igal Naor, Callan Mulvey, Jack O'Connell, Andrew Tiernan, Noam Murro, Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad, Frank Miller
300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW – Sullivan Stapleton as Themistokles and Jack O’Connell as Calisto

 

Now, four negatives first;

1) Sullivan Stapleton, while passable for the role, has only 1/5 the charisma and power of Gerard Butler and this let the film down slightly

2) The film is based on the graphic novel titles Xerxes, yet in this film Xerxes is a minimal character and compared to the first film he is a pussie in this one

3) There is some incredibly bad dialogue on occasion – ok – this is not 100% but “you don’t need to come here Themistokles to rub your hard cock watching superior warriors.”

4) There is no “THIS IS SPARTA” that the film will be known for. Lena Heady basically whispers it. I needed something to boom.

 

300, Rise of an Empire, Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey, Hans Matheson, David Wenham, Rodrigo Santoro, Igal Naor, Callan Mulvey, Jack O'Connell, Andrew Tiernan, Noam Murro, Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad, Frank Miller
300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW – Eva Green is bloody amazing as Artemisia

 

Now, if you hated or disliked the first film – 300 – don’t bother, you will hate this one before you even enter the cinema. If you enjoyed the first one or found it OK, then you will thoroughly enjoy this one. For me, easily better than the first. While it lacked the Gerard Butler character (a consolation better than Butler to be mentioned below) and it still had the slow motion artsy fartsy camera work and was mostly filmed on a blue screen, it was different and gave more. I found it better and more engaging.

1) This is the Empire Strikes Back of what is definitely going to be a trilogy. Xerxes is waiting for his third act to get all godlike and evil on us.

2) Eva Green is like JUST BLOODY WOW MIND BLOWING AWESOME – an EVIL SATANIC WHORE THAT NEEDS TO BURN IN HELL FOR ETERNITY – but she makes the film. She is the film. She OWNS THE FILM and out acts everyone! She is close to one of the most evil people on film ever. I bow at that performance.

3) Jack O’Connell, he plays Calisto, the young guy, the son of Scyllias (Callan Mulvey – the scarred dude from Rush TV and Bikey Wars). I loved Calisto, ok, I admit he is just gorgeous, HOT, as are most of the chest bearing warriors. But I didn’t even recognise him. He was Cook from Skins. He bulked up so much in this film and has all grown up, he is pin-up worthy and he still has the Cook anger and explosive violence. LOVED HIM, think he will be the lead in the third film – the one to destroy Xerxes.

 

300, Rise of an Empire, Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey, Hans Matheson, David Wenham, Rodrigo Santoro, Igal Naor, Callan Mulvey, Jack O'Connell, Andrew Tiernan, Noam Murro, Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad, Frank Miller
300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW – Rodrigo Santoro as Xerxes

 

4) The artsy cinematography and complete blue screen filming and slow motion was still there but less distracting this time around because the story was more engaging. I loved the filming, it is next level cinematography and if you know me I prefer visuals over most other things, I live through sight and this film is something you can’t take your eyes off. While it pisses a lot of people off, I lap it up.

5) The film is pure war porn, it is a cheer for the best kill, my first words on a text to Kernels Dara and Andrew was “it wins a Salty Cob Award (my Oscars) for blood alone.” The blood in this is like red cement flying around. It was superb 🙂

6) The bad dialogue in the film is campy and it suited the film. The sexual chess game of roughness between Themistokles and Artemisia is hysterical. The campy badness of occasional dialogue broke up and suited the war porn.

 

300, Rise of an Empire, Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey, Hans Matheson, David Wenham, Rodrigo Santoro, Igal Naor, Callan Mulvey, Jack O'Connell, Andrew Tiernan, Noam Murro, Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad, Frank Miller
300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW – Preparing for Battle

 

This film deserves to be seen in 3D IMax, or the biggest loudest cinema you can find, it must be in 3D as it just adds a level to the visuals and it is how the director intended you to see it. Get thee butt to a cinema and see it if you think it is your thing. It is a popcorn film, do not judge the dialogue or acting, drool over pecs and cheer the fighting and best kills onscreen. I am so going to hell 🙂

 

JK’S POP SCORE:

4 Pops

KERNEL ADAM’S POP SCORE:

3 and a Half Pops

KERNEL CLAIRE’S POP SCORE:

3 Pops

KERNEL JOHN’S POP SCORE:

2 and a Half Pops

 

 

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