300: Rise of an Empire Screen 10 articles

300: Rise of an Empire

2014

300: Rise of an Empire Poster
  • It’s a movie viewers are supposed to get off to, though anyone who just wants to watch waxed, ripped guys running, jumping, and thrusting (this is one of those cases where a sword isn’t just a sword) while wearing leather briefs may find their enjoyment soured by the perverse political power fantasies which are the film’s raison d’être.

  • Murro's film is unable to pursue any narrative or philosophical questions launched by the denouement of the original because Zack Snyder posed no such questions; instead, it can only adorn itself with a salmagundi of motifs and tics left over from its predecessor, a means of telling this type of pseudo-history with as much franchise consistency as possible.

  • 300: Rise of an Empire always had one thing going for it: the odds of it being worse than Zack Snyder's epically repellant 2006 original were very long indeed, and while this certainly has its problems, it does manage to avoid trumping its predecessor in the egregious stakes.

  • Rise of an Empire is cheerfully decadent, a film where life is cheap and violence is aestheticised, a film without a single redeeming feature except the fact that it’s naughty fun (though it does get tedious after an hour or so). It’s a juicy entertainment, an outrageous piss-take blended with a war movie.

  • The naval collisions and melees play out in panel-like renderings that are bold and satisfying for the first half-hour but lack the momentum and bombastic je ne sais quoi of “300.” Someone was also apparently worried that the film’s depth of field wouldn’t come across, judging from the ubiquitous particles suspended in the air, as if some unseen Greek had just dusted.

  • 300: Rise of an Empire is an altogether more coherent and less politically convoluted film than 300. This time, Snyder serves as producer and co-writer, and has turned over directing duties to Israeli director Noam Murro. The result, though, is a lot less interesting — its style more anonymous and its macho theatrics more predictable. Director Murro can speed-ramp like a champ, but gone is the level of abstraction that Snyder brought to the original — and with it, much of the visual interest.

  • The slow-motion battle scenes are technically impressive and occasionally elegant, but there's enough machismo here to choke a thousand NFL locker rooms; thank cowriters Zack Snyder (who directed the original 300) and Kurt Johnstand for the rampant homophobia and chauvinism. In one scene Green and Stapleton meet to discuss a possible truce but wind up trying to out-fuck each other in a display of carnal superiority; she eventually succumbs to his, uh, will.

  • Even lighter on story than Zack Snyder’s 2007 predecessor... 300: Rise of an Empire essentially owns up to being an equal-opportunity droolfest: as homoerotic or macho as you want it to be, with more women in play this time around... Storytelling is left to a wordy voiceover; it’s flesh and carnage that the audience is here to see, and director Noam Murro delivers it by the glistening ton, pausing only for stray bits of backstory.

  • I hated the Zack-Snyder-directed "300" with a passion... the thing looked as if it had been shot through lenses that had been smeared with dog feces prior to each take. "Rise of an Empire," directed by Noam Murro is entirely more engaging by dint of being absolutely impossible to take even a little bit seriously. The ruthlessness of Green's character is taken to extremes that meld Medea to the cheesiest serial you can name, and is hence delicious.

  • Murro acquits himself more than well, borrowing a lot from Snyder’s playbook while managing to find his own way through the material... Murro favors a somewhat faster, messier look than the first “300,” with a constantly tracking, swooping camera in lieu of Snyder’s more fixed, meticulously composed tableaux, and a minimum of the super slow-motion that gave “300’s” battle scenes their dreamy, ethereal air.