Nine Things about the Movie 300: Rise of an Empire (USA, 1014)
1. This violent action flick isn’t really a sequel or a prequel to the movie “300”. It sort of wraps around it. It starts out by documenting events before “300”. Then it tells a parallel story of different battles in a different part of Greece while “300” is happening. Then it wraps things up by showing what happens after Sparta’s 300 are all killed at the end of the first movie.
2. The main villain of the first film, Xerxes, has a minor role in this one. King Leonidas is not in this movie, except for flashbacks of the first film. This time it’s the Athenian hero Themistokles against the female Persian naval commander Artemisia. She’s bringing goth back.
3. The movie makes a point to say that the Athenians were mostly farmers, poets, and craftsmen. They were not warriors. But somehow they look and fight just like the Spartans.
4. While the first movie focused on land battles, this one is mostly about ship warfare.
5. It is not directed by the guy that directed the first movie. So while it has a similar feel, it’s not quite the same..
6. This movie is an example of what is becoming called “war porn” - an athletic ballet of violence and sex appeal. It’s absolutely beautiful to watch - even the huge orgasms of blood.
7. I didn’t know women used to fight battles in flowy dresses.
8. The sex scene between Themistokles and Artemisia is supposed to be a metaphorical bargaining session about freedom, slavery, and loyalty, but it ends up just being funny.
9. If you want historic accuracy, or metaphors for current world events, or even intelligent discourse about different ways to rule a country, then you need to stay away from this movie. But if you want an absurd piece of kick-ass style and violence, then this might be the best you get all year.