Hold on to your togas-the long-awaited sequel to “300” was finally released March 7. Yes, the blood and gore is back and better than ever in 3-D. Director Noam Murro, decided to one up Zach Snyder’s Spartan blood fest in the original “300” by making the audience feel like they were bathing in crimson. Murro’s use of 3-D effects was an appropriate choice; there was enough flying carnage and slow motion to make the extra $3 per ticket worth it.
This action and adventure film filled in the blanks that the original “300” left out. The god king Xerxes (played by Rodrigo Santoro), is out for revenge against the hunky Athenian Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton). This battle-worn Athenian shot a single arrow that claimed the life of Xerxes’ father. Themistokles unknowingly hit the first domino that would lead death and destruction to Greece’s door. The making of the all-powerful Persian king is revealed in this sequel – and boy, is it piercing, (no pun intended). The king may be full of divine power but it seems that another is pulling his strings.
The Grecian-turned-Persian femme fatale of this gory tale seduces her men with looks as well as her thirst for power. The rancorous Artemisia (Eva Green) made the Persian king by transforming his grief into an insatiable hunger for Greece’s extinction. This cunning temptress paved the way for Xerxes to gain his godlike abilities and let this bloodthirsty wolf out into the world.
“300: Rise of an Empire” sets the battle scenes on the high seas: don’t worry, there’s plenty of slo-mos with impaling and limb-hacking. There are also very clever naval ploys that make any sane person say, “holy crap, did that just happen?!” Don’t be dissuaded from this film just because of the action – there’s plenty of eye candy. The swoon-worthy men on our Athenian army would never be complete without that father-son duo. Although Murro continues the same tragic death of either father or son, we can’t help but feel sorry that the duo becomes an uno. The scene shows the brutality of war but also the misery war leaves in its wake.
We all remember the R-rated sex scenes that happened in the original “300,” so I think it’s safe to say we saw those coming from a mile away. However, the rough sex scene in “300: Rise of an Empire” wasn’t seen until it was choking us (pun completely intended). That what-the-hell-just-happened scene had every audience member buzzing after the movie. Who would have thought that Themistokles liked his women with raven hair, a smoky voice, a leather fetish and a thirst to destroy his homeland?
From the flying limbs to the head-turning sex scene (another pun!) I think it’s harmless to conclude that “300: Rise of an Empire” is a must-see before you become old and decrepit. Will there be a third movie? Most likely; if you recall the ending of the original “300,” our favorite one-eyed Spartan gave an inspirational speech before charging into battle on land. The sequel did not have the same ending and Xerxes was still undefeated, so it looks like we may have a trilogy on our hands. Nevertheless, watch “300: Rise of an Empire” and comment with your thoughts below. By the way, “speechless” is completely okay for the you-know-what scene!