My rating: 5
IMDB rating: 6.5
IMDB link: 300: Rise of an Empire
The first 300 was quite iconic in terms of the camera-work, the spray-on abs and the cult status it lent to the historic Spartans. It also spurred the spoof Meet the Spartans and who can forget Britney Spears being kicked down the huge black hole in Sparta? Still, 300 is very far from being the best that the action movie industry has to offer.
When it came to the second movie, I was quite nervous about both the stylistic and narrative choices that the director was going to have to make. And I have to say that in that sense, this movie really surprised!
Stylistically, this movie is similar to the first 300. The action follows a ‘stop-go’ type of sequence with the constant use of slow-motion. The whole of the movie seem to be shot through some kind of filter, which gives it this golden glow. In this movie, Artemisia, who is a very dark character, is often portrayed by a darker filter and a ‘darker’ setting. It is easy to see that most of the film was shot in front of a green screen, as the CGI in this film is quite prominent.
Speaking of the narrative, I liked the fact that they kept the original 300 story alive, by having these events of the second movie play of in the same time period as the first movie. Where the first movie ended in the death of, well… everyone! The second movie takes the exact same war, that happens at the exact same time, and show that the efforts of the 300 from the first movie was not in vain as a new empire can now rise. This second film is also more focused on two leading ladies, rather than the whole film being dominated by men (as the first movie was).
I am absolutely in love with Eva Green, who plays the dark war-hero in this second film. First seeing her in Dark Shadows, then this movie, and then finally watching her in the new Showtime series Penny Dreadful that just had its first season, really showed her power as an actress for something more dark.
Although this second movie did not disappoint in terms of the first movie, it is still not ‘the best’ in terms of action films. I would still recommend it for its ability to entertain.
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