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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 17 December 2014
Sometimes when a film is a big hit and then it gets a sequel, the second offering gets sent straight to DVD – some of the stars don’t return and it doesn’t get the same budget as the first. ‘300: Rise of an Empire’ feels like it should have gone straight to DVD. Even though it has a reasonably sized budget and some of the actors return, it just comes across as a ‘lesser offering.’

That doesn’t mean it’s bad, just not as original and focused as the first. It serves as a prequel, sequel and also set during ‘300.’ The Spartans from the first film are now more in the background and it’s about the Athenian navy, tasked with the job of stopping the Persians.

The gore is all there again and, despite not being directed (only co-written) by Zack Synder, it retains his trademark ‘slow motion’ and speed-up type effects. Also, once again, it’s primarily shot in front of a blue screen, meaning all the backgrounds are basically computer generated. However, this time round it seems to appear a little cheaper than the first.

It has enough action to keep most fans of watching multiple people being severed in two by swords, but perhaps one of its main flaws is that the lead characters don’t really seem that strong. I read online that the part of the main Athenian – Themistokles – was offered around to some ‘better-known’ male actors, but the producers decided to go with a lesser-known one, in order to (hopefully) give him his ‘break-through’ role. I just felt they misfired there and they needed someone with a little more screen presence.

Also, the villain from the original – Xerxes – returns, yet, instead of being the unstoppable epitome of evil he was from the first film, he’s more of a sidekick villain who spends a lot of his time being manipulated by someone else.

Overall, it’s not a bad film. Just know that it’s probably not going to live up to the original. Just watch it for its action and look at it as a ‘compendium piece’ to the first.

Maybe more a 3.5 out of 5.
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A sequel to 300 [2007] [DVD], this new movie is based, like that was, on a graphic novel by writer/artist Frank Miller. Said graphic novel is entitled 'Xerxes,' and details the rise of the Persian King seen in the first film.

But said graphic novel is actually an unpublished one, since despite being talked about for years it has yet to see the light of day.

So we just have this film to judge it by.

You will probably struggle to get into this if you haven't seen 300. But it's probably unlikely that you'll be watching this if you've not seen that, so that might not be a problem.

Shot in the same style, with copious back projection via green screen, and lots of warriors with shields and swords and underpants cloaks and sandals. This also features fighting in the same way. With lots of hyper real and stylised sword fighting and visuals showing the results of such. Many clearly shot to make them look effective in 3d.

But this isn't just a sequel. It's also a prequel. And a companion piece. As the narrative tells of events that happened years before those in 300. Plus things that were going on elsewhere when Leonidas and his army were holding back the Persians. Plus what happened afterwards.

Things start at the battle of Marathon, when Athenian troops deal with invading Persians via Athenian shock combat. Led by Themistokles [Sullivan Stapleton] his actions that day lead to the rise of the God King Xerxes.

As said god king then launches his invasion, Themistokles and his navy fight the Persians at sea whilst the Spartans fight them on land. But for the Persians to be defeated, Greece needs to unite. Themistokles knows this full well. It's a long held dream of his. Can he make it come to pass?

Sullivan Stapleton is quite good in the lead, because he shows well how Themistokles had, in addition to leading warriors, to be the one thing Leonidas wouldn't have wanted, or cared, to be. A politician. Eva Green does superbly well as his nemesis, Persian navy leader Artemesia. Depicting a woman who Is very good indeed at suppressing and focusing her anger.

This doesn't try to do anything too different from the first film, beyond depicting combat in a similar style. But mostly at sea rather than on land. How you will react to this is going to be a matter of opinion. Depending on how much you want to see more of that hyper realistic combat style.

All of which means it can feel over familiar at times, and does lull somewhat in the talky moments.

But there are some eye catching set pieces. Some excellent naval battles. And the thing that makes it work. The history. By giving us the bigger picture of things, it does get very interesting when it's focused on that. This is the stylised mythic version of the history in the same style as the original, of course. That which tries to depict it as those who heard stories of the battles down the years after would have visualised things in their minds eye.

So it's not for the historical purist at all. But for those who want an interesting companion piece to the original, it's well worth a look.

The dvd has the following language and subtitle options:

Languages: English, Castilian Spanish.

Subtitles: English, Castilian Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish.

The disc begins with a generic trailer for ultraviolet, which can be skipped via the next button on the dvd remote.

There's one single extra. An eight minute featurette called 'taking the battle to the sea.' Which is a short making of feature. As with most featurettes these days, it's brief but interesting anyhow.
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on 26 May 2016
Was unsure if I'd like this without Gerard Butler, but it's very much like the first film and packed with action. Big thumbs up from me.
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on 4 August 2015
An excellently produced Greek Mythology with stylish Sets, an engaging main Plot, easily understood Dialogue and superb Special Effects
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on 22 December 2014
This film was watchable but the C.G.I was over the top. Which spoilt the film and story line. But lots off action and good characters.
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on 3 March 2016
Enjoyed 300 so bought this as a cheapo Christmas view (let's face it TV is cr@p ay xmas). Like most sequels it's a pale follow up.
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on 17 May 2016
Better than expected but the masses of CGI blood that left everyone clean of blood was dumb.
And the horse part was crap.
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on 17 May 2015
Too long for me & a bit confusing, slipping from the first Film 300, to this version. Good story still & good special effects.
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on 22 October 2014
Personally, I didn't find this film as atmospheric as the first, probably because there are fewer effects. It's story runs alongside that of 300, which simpletons like me appreciate, but didn't have my attention like it's predecessor.
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on 14 December 2015
the first film i bought wifh Amazon prime.very clear picture for sd version.good sound. not as good as 300 in my opinion.
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