Entitled: 300 Rise Of An Empire

300 rise

It begins with exposition….” quite a lot of exposition, actually, from Lena Headey’s Spartan widow Queen Gorgo.  300: Rise of an Empire takes us back to the days of swords, sandals, and six packs that we last saw in 300. This time around, the action unfolds before, during, and after the events of the Battle of Thermopylae depicted in the 2006 film, only this time it’s 300: All At Sea.

It’s also a sidequel which chronicles multiple battles in the second Persian invasion of Greece, which occurred between 480-479 BC. Along with dramatizing the events of the naval-based Battle of Artemisium (which took place at the same time as the events of ‘300’) and the later Battle of Salamis, it starts in a flashback to the ground-based Battle of Marathon, which occurred years earlier, during the first Persian invasion of the region (keep up at the back!). There, Athenian hero Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) sets events in motion by killing Xerxes’ daddy, pissing off the real star of the show, Artemisia, a brilliant strategist and commander of the Persian navy played by Eve Green in full scene stealing, scenery chewing, glaring glory.

The colour palette last time around was beaten copper and deep crimson. This time, it’s black and blue (cloaks), not because of the pounding the warriors receive, but because they’re a navy during a storm, see? Yet even though they’re mostly civvies, not bred for battle warriors like the Spartans, they kick ass – Artemisia tells Themistocles “You fight harder than you fuck!” – presumably he upped his game after Gorgo taunted him “You’ve come a long way to stroke your cock while real men fight.”

300 rise 2

This is a long winded way of saying (a) this is a definite Guilty Pleasure, and (b) there ain’t a whole lot of info yet on the cool end credits, which mimic the ending of 300, with stylised Frank Millar-esque illustrations of events in the film. I do love the use of Black Sabbath’s War Pig – nice touch.

 

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