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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 January 2015
When the likes of 300 utilise innovative filming techniques it is really difficult to trump the original in a sequel, and I feel this may be the reason why Rise Of An Empire draws somewhat mixed reviews. The movie is full of action, well acted and has a reasonable continuity from 300. As a piece of action entertainment it works and if you enjoyed the original you should like the second instalment.
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68 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on 8 April 2014
The Battle of Salamis was supposed to be a naval battle. Not a heroic last stand at a mountain pass like the Battle of Thermopylae covered in 300. And a naval battle in ancient times meant no fancy cannons or ships of the line exchanging broadsides amidst clouds of billowing gunpowder smoke.

And yet, 7 years of waiting has paid off. 300: Rise of an Empire is thoroughly satisfying. The violence in this film makes you grin with glee from ear to ear despite considering yourself a seasoned veteran of gore films. 300: Rise of an Empire is also not just about the sea battle, but masterfully takes us through several flashbacks without jeopardizing the story and turning it into a mess. The film also leaves enough room to create several believable characters, most prominent of all the real historic female naval general Artemisia, wonderfully played by Eva Green. Green plays Artemisia with an authoritative aura that has warrior written all over it. Xerxes takes a back seat this time, but we do get a glimpse into his past and who the man once was.

At the end of the day, if you hadn't already come to this realization 7 years ago, you need to now: 300 is a work of art, not a historic movie. It is the film adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novels and thus sticks to the literature both in story and in art design. Hence the oversized moon. Hence the ridiculous blood splattering. When viewed in this context, it is almost impossible to find flaws in these two adaptations, as they masterfully bring the graphic novel to vibrant life.

Last but not least, 300: Rise of an Empire offers breathtaking setpieces and backdrops, and is arguably more grand than the original 300 film, although of course we aren't treated to the plethora of enemies and fantastical creatures as the first film did. Nevertheless, a well done and truly satisfying sequel. My only gripe is that the final duel should have been far more epic, and the soundtrack could have used some of the familiar thematic choirs of 300. Still, a 5, out of 5 stars.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 June 2014
This High Court finds the accused, producer and writer of this sequel to his own 2006 splendid masterpiece, guilty as charged of following crimes:

1. Being too lazy to direct this second film

2. Hiring a director who was an absolutely incompetent beginner

3. Being careless (or drunk?) to the point of writing a completely substandard BORING scenario

4. Endorsing abysmally bad actors for two main roles

5. Flashing ugly silicon breasts in public

6. Sending to the front Cersei Lannister, a middle aged mother of three, dressed in a dirty nightgown and armed with a rusty meat cleaver

7. Not only using napalm in V century BC but especially using it poorly...

8. Transforming Xerxes, the gigantic King of Kings, a monument of evil, corruption and depravation, into a pathetic sidekick

9. Showing the battle of Salamis, an apocalyptic clash of fleets and warriors on a scale defying imagination, as a s***ty little skirmish won by a cavalry charge (sic!)

10. Replacing a Bad@ss Leonidas by a Couldn't Care Less Themistocles, who has all the "maiestas, dignitas et gravitas" of an used condom, when the REAL Themistocles was a titan of politics, a genius of warfare, a monument of charisma and also a man of legendary oratory talent. He was in fact so honey-tongued that, in order to ensure the final victory in war, he actually managed to convince the assembly of Athenian citizens to abandon their own beautiful and rich city without fighting - when it was obvious that as result it will be plundered and burned to the ground by Persians...

11. Presenting Ancient Greeks, one of the most warlike, aggressive, clever, dangerous people who EVER lived, as some kind of pacific clueless herbivores... Ancient Greeks were not just mere farmers, herders, artisans, merchants, fishermen and sailors - in fact EVERY single citizen was trained in a very harsh way to fight from his early childhood. All those who could afford appropriate armor and weapons would become hoplits (heavy infantry) with all others becoming peltasts (light infantry of javelin armed skirmishers). As soon as he was of age every citizen participated in wars of his city ("polis") and those conflicts were many, because war, together with philosophy and pederasty, was the favourite pastime for Ancient Greeks. Wars were almost permanent and were waged for any kind of reasons - sometimes to start one it was enough to spit over the border, on another city-state territory (not a tall order, considering the small size of most of "polis"). Small wonder that Ancient Greeks invented Olympic games, which forced all the states to stop fighting once every four years - after all EVERYBODY needs a break from time to time... By trying to show Ancient Greeks as peaceful people reluctantly taking arms against an evil empire this film is simply RIDICULOUS!

12. Showing on the screen the most appalling scene of unsuccessful copulation ever...

13. For all practical purpose destroying a promising franchise

14. Causing waste of perfectly good popcorn in a world where hundreds of millions do not have enough to eat

15. Making people vomit in disgust in the theatres and therefore causing a public health hazard

16. Abundantly humidifying his own legacy with malodorous body fluids...

Sentencing: the film receives two stars because of some visually nice scenes, especially during naval sequences; otherwise this court sentences the accused to a total of no less than five thousand and no more than ten thousand obligatory consecutive viewings of all Jar Jar Binks scenes from "Phantom Menace", 8 (eight hours) per day, seven days per week, allowing during those 8 hours only short toilet and coffee breaks and one 15 minutes lunch break. The shades of 300 Spartans are charged with supervision of the sentence.

This court is now adjourned and considering that this court was stupid enough to watch this film all the way to the end, well, this court is now going to drown its sorrows in strong liquor and debauchery on the court of the King of Kings in company of Court's Own Chipmunks. God save the Queen and all those sorts of things.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 16 March 2014
There is nothing like epic historical fantasy to piss-off the Iranians once again. This story starts at Marathon where Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) kills King Darius (Igal Naor) wearing a costume stolen from Emperor Ming. Darius' son Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) goes on to become a "god-king" and getting a minor role, while looking like the incarnate of evil. Persia has Artemis I of Caria (a pale Eva Green) lead the navy against Greece where Themistocles is attempting to unite the Greek city states to defeat the invading Persians. Sparta wants to go its own way. The 300 Spartans we get to see laying on the ground dead, post battle as Xerxes proclaims victory and moves on to Athens. I guess that was my bad expecting to see the 300 do battle and that whole thing about the goat path because someone put "300" in the title of the film.

This is the adult fantasy version of the story. There was plenty of slow motion blood splatter. They like the blood to land on the camera lens (or glass) and look suspended in the air for a while. The speeches given in the film were necessary for the production, but were completely boring. "Freedom is her wisdom has chosen you to defend her."

There is also both male and female narration because not everyone knows butchered Greek History. This film takes liberties with the accounts of Plutarch, Herodotus, and Polyaenus. For instance, Artemis I of Caria was actually Queen of Halicarnassus and only commanded five ships. Her character is greatly multiplied in this film.

Good popcorn film for adults. Nothing more.

Parental Guide: 2 F-bombs. Night time distant rape. sex. nudity (Eva Green )
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 January 2015
If you look at what history says about Queen Artemisia, there are some jaw-droppingly wonderful stories. Stories that would have made awesome movie scenes. So what do they do? They turn her into a bland, totally unengaging stereotypical Holywood Psycho-bitch'.

Then, as if that wasn't bad enough, they manage to follow up the superb original movie by making something that so incredibly tedious as to be almost unwatchable.

There's only one reason to buy this DVD, and that's if you already have the frist one and are psychologically a 'completist' who has to have both movies.... and, um, sad as it is to admit, that's why I bought it. I even tried to watch it again. Tried.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 2 November 2014
This movie should be in the comedy section. With the over use of blood, flying embers in almost every seen, a scene with the moon so close the planet would be torn apart by gravity, little girls running around with swords but no shield, helmet or body armour defeating seasoned warriors. If you want to watch this movie wait until it comes onto free to air as it is not worth spending money to buy it.
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on 15 November 2015
The special effects are very good and graphic, unfortunately the story line as portrayed in the film (not the historical events) are very simplistic and overly rely on mindless gore. No way close to the original 300 which has a nice balance between story and action....would be better off renting this out from a library...
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 8 August 2015
I can only call this movie ok, if it came out closer to the first 300 movie (which I loved), I might ha ve been more generous and given it 4 stars, however since the success of the first movie, there have been many series that have captured the same brutal style and gore fetish. This move comes second class to the original. It is not really as sequel of the first movie it is more of a tie in. It starts 10 years before the first movie, then take place during the first movie, and finally ends a little while after the original 300 ends.

Yes the movie is brutal with lots of action. The trouble it is an imitation of the original. The movie stars a few year before first movie, with a new lead warrior. Themistocles. An inspiring politician who believes in a united Greece, and fight like a Spartan to achieve it. His foil is Artemisia the Greek commander of the Persian navy.

The movie what any who saw the original would expect a total brutality fest. It is just not the same feeling I got from the first movie something was missing. An ok watchable movie very action packed, almost too action packed, even my action loving mind got to the point where it was turning off. I would actually just re watch the first movie.
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on 15 August 2015
surprisingly enjoyable as I did not think the first 300 could be matched.
A great film that has action throughout yet good storylines too.
Great acting scenery is amazing throughout.
a good even balance of story, action, character building.
really enjoyed this film as a family
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on 10 September 2015
This dvd was ok. But I prefer the first 300 film. (2006 with Gerard Butler in leading roll.) I would have sooner watched that one again. More action. This new 're-make', if I can call it that (? ) made me sea sick. Its ok if you prefer navy battles. I certainly would not watch it again.
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